A Fresh Start For Millennials: The Case For Forgiving Student Loans

Forbes – Rob Asghar

““Let’s not mince words,” economist Anthony Orlando says. “Student loans are killing people. People need to understand just how big a problem we’re talking about: Americans owe more in student loans than on all their credit cards combined.” Orlando, the author of Letter to the One Percent, suggests that, for American society to build its best future, we should consider forgiving substantial amounts of the student debt racked up by recent college graduates—and to find new ways to lower the debt burden for current and future college students…When I talk to people my age about the future, they don’t talk about mortgages. They talk about student loans.”(more)

The New Path To Harvard And Other Top Colleges

The Huffington Post – Osman Rashid

“The Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) came out with a proposal a few days ago that parents of high school students can really get behind. Many parents have seen their kids enter high school only to be inundated with one-upmanship — comparing how many essays they are writing, how many AP classes they are taking, how many sports are they playing, how many extracurricular opportunities are they participating in and how much sleep they are [not] getting. This is the high school version of keeping up with the Joneses, and it has been shown to have truly dangerous effects on our children’s mental health…Starting with this new proposal from HGSE, colleges are finally stepping up and saying that it is quality — not quantity — that matters…Also, for the first time, colleges are saying they want to see a good track record of community engagement, not just academic engagement.”(more)

Students bring Chinese culture to US high schools

China Daily USA – HUA SHENGDUN

“Keqing Lu, a high school student in Jiangsu province, was amazed by how different US high school life is after she saw her new American friends partying, driving and playing sports after school. Lu is among almost 200 Chinese Sino-American Youth Ambassadors (SAYA), students from six high schools in Jiangsu who were selected for the program by the Ameson Education and Cultural Exchange Foundation (AECEF)…Current American college students and recent graduates presented their campus experiences to the Chinese college-bound students who will likely be studying at US institutions in the future…The Chinese students will spend two weeks in the US. In the first week, they will go to a high school in North Carolina to experience American high school life and teach Chinese…Open to both American and Chinese students, SAYA is designed to bring greater international awareness and cultural diversity to high school campuses, with students serving as cultural ambassadors…”(more)

Confused About Your Student Loans? You’re Not Alone

NPR – Acacia Squires

“Americans have about $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. And there’s yet another survey out that shows students in this country are confused about their loans, in the dark when it comes to knowing what they’ve borrowed, uncertain about how to pay them back. I’ve written before about how I was one of those people. My federal student loans were a constant source of stress, and after doing the math I figured I was paying more than 30 percent of my income every month in loan payments. And because of high interest rates, I was deeper in debt than when I graduated. And then came my epiphany, courtesy of President Obama and his 2014 State of the Union address: “We’re offering millions the opportunity to cap their monthly student loan payments to 10 percent of their income,” the President said.”(more)

What Colleges Can Gain by Adding Makerspaces to Their Libraries

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Libraries are one of the fastest-evolving learning spaces. As many resources move online, and teachers require students to collaborate more and demonstrate their learning, librarians are trying to keep up. Some are even spearheading the changes. Public libraries have led the effort to provide access to 21st century technologies and learning resources, but now university and K-12 libraries are beginning to catch up. Makerspaces are one way a few groundbreaking libraries are trying to provide equal access to exciting technologies and skills.”(more)

Why Some Colleges Are Ditching the Science Lecture For Hands-On Learning

KQED News Mind/Shift – Anya Kamenetz

“In the basement of the Duane Physics and Astrophysics building at the University of Colorado Boulder, a science demonstration is going on — but it looks more like a vaudeville act. One by one, students balance precariously on a rotating platform. Then they are handed what looks like a spinning bicycle wheel, holding it by two handles that stick out from either side of what would be the hub of the wheel. When you flip the wheel over, like a pizza, your body starts rotating in the opposite direction. The principle at work is called angular momentum, explains Katie Dudley: “You can move or stop yourself by changing what you do to the wheel.” Dudley is a blonde 20-year-old junior with glasses, an aerospace engineering major. She’s in charge of today’s session, tutoring a roomful of students who are her own age or even a bit older. She’s a Learning Assistant — an undergraduate trained and paid to help teach fellow students. Most science and engineering classes around the country are a lot less interactive, a lot more intimidating, and daresay it, a lot less fun than this one. CU Boulder has started a movement to improve the quality of science education around the country, not only on campuses but in K-12 classrooms. And the LAs, as they’re called, are at the center of this work.”(more)