Notes in the Margins: Mascots, climbing debt and online AP classes

A Look At Controversial Mascots In Sports Many experts say using any human being as a mascot is demeaning regardless of the depiction, though communities at times have been reluctant to cede old traditions. In this list of mascots, five out of seven are collegiate. (The Huffington Post)

Students swoon, faculty scowl: Emerson goes Burgundy Emmanuel Paraschos, an Emerson journalism professor, says not all Emersonians were on board. (USA Today)Average Student Debt Climbs To $29,400, Up 63 Percent In Less Than A Decade The percentage of college students who graduated with debt increased from 65 percent in 2004 to 71 percent in 2012. (The Huffington Post)

New federal ‘financial aid toolkit’ for college The Web site, operated by the Education Department, is one of several Obama administration initiatives aimed at helping consumers navigate the often-bewildering higher education market. (The Washington Post)

Professors in Deal to Design Online Lessons for A.P. Classes  To ease the way for students grappling with certain key concepts, professors at Davidson College in North Carolina will design online lessons for students in Advanced Placement courses in calculus, physics and macroeconomics and make them widely available through the College Board and edX, a nonprofit online education venture. (The New York Times)