-Observing that “well-paying jobs and no debt are hard to pass up,” Vice declares “The Hot new Gen-Z Trend Is Skipping College.” However, the article recognizes the persistence of powerful social pressures to attend college, requiring students to choose between “stigma or debt.”
-The total annual cost of attendance at Ithaca College has now surpassed $60,000.
-Opposite generations: As the senior living industry expands in response to the demand of aging Baby Boomers, providers must address their labor crunch by appealing to Gen Z employees.
-No bail-outs in Britain: The head of England’s higher education regulator has warned institutions that the government will not prop up schools in the event of another financial crisis. As The Guardian reports, Sir Michael Barber said that a “too big to fail” attitude “will lead to poor decision-making and a lack of financial discipline…We expect universities to develop realistic plans for the future which reflect likely student demand for their courses and how best they can meet that demand.”
-An odd ballot proposal was passed during last week’s elections in Florida. Amendment 7 included three separate items: an increase in death benefits for first responders and military servicemen killed on duty; constitutional recognition and support of the state college system; and a requirement of a two-thirds majority vote by the Board of Governors to raise college fees (not including tuition).
-Meanwhile Maine voters approved an issuance of $49 million in bonds “to modernize and improve the facilities and infrastructure of Maine’s public universities in order to expand workforce development capacity.” A bunch of Lynda.com subscriptions would have been a lot cheaper.
-USA Today describes how student loan debts limit the options of first-time home buyers.
-Mental health crisis: A multi-year survey of over 450,000 college students at 452 institutions reveals a rapid increase in the amount of self-reported mental health issues. Students who had been diagnosed or treated for anxiety grew from 9% in 2009 to 15% in 2015, while those with depression grew from 9% to 12%. The study did not attempt to identify the causes of this trend. But consider: walk around a typical college campus in America, and one out of every ten students you see has a serious problem.
-A study of college football alumni found that 147 programs had at least one former player who had developed the CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) brain disease. Several football programs had more than one such former player, with Georgia leading the list with nine.
On this 100th anniversary of the armistice with Germany that ended the first World War, we reflect on America’s commitment to that conflict: over 4 million Americans served, including over 25% of the male population between the ages of 18 and 31. Over 100,000 of them died in service. May their memory offer perspective to those who are fortunate enough to have worries about employment, student loans, and home-buying.