Notes in the Margins: For-profit execs, coaches and a lack of research skills

Why the U. of Chicago’s Story Matters In an attempt to increase its small but select applicant pool, the University of Chicago has modified its recruitment pitches so that they now sound a lot more like those of other highly-selective colleges. Depending on your view of the admissions landscape, this is either great news—or something to lament. (

Executives Collect $2 Billion Running U.S. For-Profit Colleges Top executives at the 15 U.S. publicly traded for-profit colleges, led by Apollo Group Inc. and Education Management Corp., received $2 billion during the last seven years from the proceeds of selling company stock. At the same time, the industry registered the worst loan-default and four-year-college dropout rates in U.S. higher education. Since 2003, nine for-profit college insiders sold more than $45 million of stock apiece. Peter Sperling, vice chairman of Apollo’s University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit college, collected $574.3 million. (

Cancellation of GRE Scores Frustrates Chinese Students Following the cancellation last month of thousands of Graduate Record Examination scores in China due to administrative problems, a growing number of Chinese students are speaking out about what they say is an insufficient and ineffective response by the company that runs the exam. (

Report calls attention to achievement gap between black and white male students Black male students trail their white counterparts in school by alarming margins and for reasons that often are not well understood. (

At D.C. area community colleges, coaches help students stay on track It doesn’t sound particularly revolutionary. But leaders of Howard Community College have found that students who meet regularly with volunteer “coaches” are significantly more likely to continue their studies than classmates who do not. (The Washington Post)

New Haven, Seeking to Get More Students Into College, Will Pay Tuition A new program financed primarily by Yale University will be open to students who live in New Haven and have attended its public schools since at least ninth grade. (

Scrutiny Takes Toll on For-Profit College Company The Kaplan group, owned by the Washington Post Company, faces legal complaints and Congressional inquiries. Together, Kaplan and the Post Company spent $350,000 on lobbying in the third quarter of this year, more than any other higher-education company. And Post Company chairman Donald GrahaGraham has gone to Capitol Hill to argue against the regulations in private visits with lawmakers, the first time he has lobbied directly on a federal issue in a dozen years. His newspaper, too, has editorialized against the regulations. (

How Do You Advise Your Child to Slow Down, and Wait? How do you advise your child to slow down, wait and not feel the pressure, when you are running around, simultaneously juggling obligations and trying to stop and take some deep breaths yourself? (

Students Lack Basic Research Skills, Study Finds Despite the wealth of information available on the Internet, a recent study suggests that many students lack basic research skills. According to one eport, 84 percent of students say that when it comes to course-based research, getting started is their biggest challenge. The three sources cited most often by students were course readings, search engines like Google, and scholarly research databases. Only 30 percent asked a librarian for research help. (