Social Media in the College Application Process

by Marie Herb 

When applying for colleges, students often use many online resources to find out about schools they are considering. On the flip side, colleges are also using online resouces (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even google) to learn more about who is applying to their schools and what kind of image these students will bring to these respective schools. Schools are increasingly uses social media sites as a way to “protect” themselves from students who could destoy the school’s reputation as Bauerlein’s article explains.

Constantly, hearing about some of the tragic and terrible events that occur on college campuses at the hands of college students, colleges should have a right to know who is applying to their school “beyond” an essay. Social media plays a key part in many teenager’s lives, which is why it is an interesting and key part of the application process. As more schools are admitting to using social media as a factor that is considered when applying to schools, perhaps more students will think twice about posting inappropriate materials online. While this does not solve the problem, of teenagers acting in ways that colleges do not see as positive, perhaps it could help make them learn to be careful what to post on social media sites.

Mrs. Obama Promotes Higher Education

by Erin Anderson

The first lady, Michelle Obama, is now straying away from her healthy eating campaign and turning more towards promoting higher education. Her plan is to talk to young adults on how important it is to attend college to better themselves and open up more job opportunities for them in the future. In one of her first talks to young adults from Chicago, she said that her story wasn’t much different from theirs and that they could end up in high positions if they attend higher education facilities. Mrs. Obama’s new campaign relates more to one of President Obama’s initiatives on higher education because she will be working with the Department of Education. Together, they are trying to get more college graduates in the country to push America from 12th to first in the world in the percent of college graduates by 2020. President Obama will attack this huge task from the policy side whereas Mrs. Obama will speak to young people around the country about the importance of higher education.

How effective will her campaign be? Can she really make young adults see that she has a story just like them? It will be a difficult task because she is such a high up public figure who attended an Ivy League school and who came from a decent background. Over the next few months it will be interesting to see how effective her campaign really is.

Limiting For-Profit Institutions from Circumventing the 90/10 Rule

As higher education becomes a necessary part of life, many new institutions are appealing to the less fortunate student. These schools are categorized as for-profit and market their programs to attract anyone willing to listen. They operate by cutting costs and by obtaining money given to students through federal financial aid. Because less fortunate students receive more financial aid for-profit schools attempt to attract this demographic group. The government has a law to limit the amount of money that a university can receive through federal financial aid. Called the 90/10 rule it “requires for-profit colleges to receive 10 percent of their revenue from nonfederal sources to be eligible to receive [up to 90% from] federal student aid.”

However, there are critical flaws to the 90/10 rule. Post 9-11 GI Bill benefits are not counted as federal revenue. As a result, many for-profit schools prey on military veterans. This gap in the law can cause some institutions to receive almost 100% of revenue from the federal government. Opponents argue that for-profit institutions increase tuition when Congress increases federal student aid funding in order to fulfill the rule.

Another loophole involves enrolling international students. Some top for-profit schools, such as EDMC, have Canadian campuses. The Canadian students are not qualified for US financial aid, consequently the tuition they pay is added into the  “10” percent, allow the schools to circumvent the law.

H.R. 340, Protecting Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, would prevent for-profit institutions from using federal education assistance for advertising, marketing, and recruiting students. This would solve many of the problems with the 90/10 rule and close many of the loopholes.

The critical question then becomes the prioritization of funds: What’s more important, success and resources available to the students or the wad of cash that goes in the pocket of the institution? This may seem drastic, but it seems post-secondary institutions, especially those dedicated to the generation of profit, have become more of a business then a center of learning and growth. Although it’s not a perfect solution, reforming these policies will take our nation a step closer to providing students with more than a paper, a promise, and a plethora of debt when they graduate.

Florida is further than you think: Today’s college graduates won’t be retiring any time soon


by Michael Pacitti

It’s no secret, retirement is a long way away for all recent college graduates. It’s fair to say that they’re worrying about finding a job now, not relaxing on a beach somewhere 40 years down the line. Let’s face it, retirement isn’t exactly a top priority for this demographic. But what if I told you that your retirement wouldn’t happen for an additional ten years?

An alarming prediction from the financial website NerdWallet concludes that the average college student with loan debt of $23,000 on a 10-year repayment plan could translate up to $115,000 less for their retirement fund. I know what you’re asking- who in their right mind would pay in excess of $90,000 of interest on a $23,000 loan? Rest assured the answer (at least in this scenario) is still no one in their right mind. However, there is an economic factor called opportunity cost that is key to the prediction NerdWallet makes. Opportunity cost is the amount of money one could potentially earn if a certain sum was invested with compounding interest rate over a certain period of time. In other words, if the money spent on paying back student loans was instead invested, it would amount to a sum over $130,000 after 33 years. However, if not invested, this ends up costing students ten additional years’ worth of work before having the savings to retire.

Although it is not an issue for the near future, the ability to retire and live comfortably is a goal almost all people strive for. With the rising cost of student loans, this goal drifts farther and farther away from recent grads until eventually staying out of their reach.