Notes in the Margins: amenities, drinking and the Common Application

Obama Dismisses Need For College Amenities On Monday President Obama reviewed some familiar policies his administration has offered to make higher education more affordable: changing the structure of federal student loans, tripling investment in college tax credits and increasing Pell Grant awards. But he raised a new objection to another culprit of high tuition costs: amenities. “You’re not going to a university to join a spa; you’re going there to learn so that you can have a fulfilling career,” Obama said. (

Everest College Grads Sue, Alleging Fraud Chelsi Miller says she amassed $45,000 in debt to earn a surgical technologist degree from the for-profit Everest College in 2008 in the hopes of transferring to the University of Utah, only to find few schools accept Everest credits. (

Does Drinking During College Lead to Lower Grades? A recent paper concludes that “drinking causes significant reductions in academic performance, particularly for the highest-performing students. This suggests that the negative consequences of alcohol consumption extend beyond the narrow segment of the population at risk of more severe, low-frequency, outcomes.” (Daily Finance)

CUNY, IBM to open high school-college hybrid The City University of New York and IBM will open a unique school that merges high school with two years of college, allowing students to earn an associate’s degree. (USA Today)

Census: Women closing in on male-dominated fields The gender gap in fields once dominated by men is narrowing, with younger women accounting for nearly half of science and business grads. (USA Today)

For-profit colleges under fire over value, accreditation As the topic heats up in Washington, more than 1,000 students are expected to converge on Capitol Hill today in support of for-profit colleges. But for others, the problems with for-profits start with concern about accreditation, a coveted assurance of educational quality. (USA Today)

For Georgetown dean, Common Application is part of a larger admissions problem To Charlie Deacon, gatekeeper at Georgetown University for the past 38 years, the Common Application is part of a larger problem: the admissions bubble, a geometric expansion of college applications that he likens to the millennial housing market, in an admissions industry that increasingly resembles big business. (The Washington Post)