-Walmart announced it would subsidize college degrees for its 1.4 million part-time and full-time workers, saying employees could complete a college education for $1 a day. Students must major in either business or supply chain management and can take online or on-campus courses at the University of Florida, Brandman University (Irvine, CA), and Bellevue University (Bellevue, NE). Walmart has an existing online-education partnership with American Public University, whose distinctly non-Latin tagline is “Respected. Affordable. Online.”
-Friday’s national labor report indicates that 223,000 net new jobs were created in May, and the current unemployment rate has shrunk to 3.8%, an 18-year low.
-Payroll processing company ADP reports that 16-24 year-olds entering the workforce enjoy a 5.2% increase in wages over last year.
-A Pew Research Center survey finds that 95% of students own or have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online “almost constantly.” The sample included 743 teens.
-“Our university and hopefully your new home for the next four years is taking care of your tuition, fees, housing, meal plan, and books! Yes, I’m serious!” So said the president of the University of Texas-Tyler last fall in welcome letters to a group of Nepalese students, who eagerly paid fees and deposits in response to confirm their international enrollments. Then, in April, these same students were notified that their scholarships had been cancelled due to budget constraints, with the university saying, “We regret the inconvenience.” Fortunately, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, Texas Christian University has stepped in to accept the students on the same terms.
-If you can’t beat ’em, leave ’em. Some baseball coaches from northern schools want to secede from the current NCAA baseball league, citing the advantage the warmer-climate southern schools have when practicing and playing in the early spring season. Northern coaches want to have a summer season, but as one coach says, “We’re never going to get the Southern people to agree to play in the summer. They have the weather and they can play when they want.”
-Like many other states, Colorado struggles to address steadily increasing higher ed costs (which continue to outpace inflation) without shifting too much of the financial burden to students and tuition rates. Meanwhile, Montana’s regents have asked the state for an additional $14.5 million due to the same problem.
-Perhaps the guy driving around in the hearse has gotten attention. In the continuing, prolonged aftermath of the closure of Mount Ida College, the Massachussetts Attorney General has launched an investigation into whether its administration “violated their fiduciary duties” in agreeing to the takeover by UMass. The AG has requested a broad range of documents from the school.
–Marylhurst University, a 125 year-old Catholic liberal arts school near Portland, Oregon, announced it will close by the end of this year. The school cited a steady decline in enrollment since 2008 as a key factor in its decision. A 2015 article in the Oregonian foreshadowed this end as it described the behind-the-scenes turmoil at the largely-vacant “ghost campus.”