Notes in the Margins: Amenities, student spending and the best celebrity commencement speeches

College Student Spending Power Flat This Year  After a big jump last year, discretionary spending by college students is expected to remain largely flat this year at $117 billion, per the latest College Explorer report from re:fuel. That remains significantly above discretionary spending power from 2009-2011, though, which stood at roughly $90 billion. (Marketing Charts via e-Strategy Trends)

Fancy college dorms, gyms don’t help draw applicants, research says Conducted before and after the economic downturn by economists Kevin Rask of Colorado College and Amanda Griffith of Wake Forest University, the research says students are more interested in price and prestige than in amenities. (The Hechinger Report)

2013′s Best Movie Industry Commencement Speeches Celebrities doling out sage advice during college commencement speeches is nothing new, but this year’s crop was especially entertaining. (The Credits)

Why MOOCS won’t revolutionize higher ed Deep and abiding issues prevent MOOCs from revolutionizing higher education. One issue is money. The other issue is the pattern of universities taming innovations to keep things as they are, a pattern that entrepreneurial reformers scorn and wish to overturn. (The Washington Post)

Struggling Thunderbird Business School Finds a For-Profit Lifeline Arizona’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, one of the world’s top-ranked business schools, is selling its campus to a for-profit college operator as part of a last-ditch effort to bolster its finances. (The Wall Street Journal)