Notes in the Margins: Savings, football schools and 3-year degrees

Taking back the universities Academics are returning to their radical roots. Martin Eve and Jennifer Jones salute those who are striving for their university to be more than a training ground for the jobs market. (The Guardian)

Federal Higher Education Policy and the Profitable Nonprofits Undergraduate education is a highly profitable business for nonprofit colleges and universities. They do not show profits on their books, but instead take their profits in the form of spending on some combination of research, graduate education, low-demand majors, low faculty teaching loads, excess compensation, and featherbedding. The industry’s high profits come at the expense of students and taxpayer. (Cato Institute)

States Use Sweepstakes to Attract Parents to College-Savings Plans States say the promotions benefit everyone. Critics say it is an asset grab designed to generate fees for the investment companies that manage the plans for states. (The Wall Street Journal)

3-year college degree programs not catching on Reformers have hailed the three-year degree as the potential salvation of higher education: a rewrite of the academic calendar that lowers the price of college by compressing it into 36 months. But students have not responded, and most three-year degree programs have flopped — a reminder, college leaders say, that students still regard college as an experience to be savored. Why rush the best four years of your life? (The Washington Post)

Football Schools Made More Money Last Year, Report Shows More football-playing colleges are cutting back on costs and turning profits, too. The latest NCAA annual report on revenue and expenses shows that 22 Football Bowl Subdivision schools made money in 2009-10, eight more than the previous year, and that schools in both Division I football subdivisions have figured out how to halt a rapid increase in expenses. (Associated Press via The Huffington Post)