July 26th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

University of Southern California student: Campus police decided I wasn't raped

(CNN) - A University of Southern California student said she reported a rape, and was told police won't pursue a case because the alleged rapist didn't orgasm. Another student said she was raped by her former boyfriend, and the campus brushed it off. The university says it takes sexual violence seriously, that it investigates cases and takes disciplinary action, but it's no replacement for the Los Angeles Police Department. Students have now formed the Student Coalition Against Rape, and the U.S. Department of Education is looking into how the university is handling cases of sexual violence.

It's not the first campus that has faced criticism in recent years for how it handled rape; the U.S. Department of Education has opened investigations into several universities.

Student loan deal passes Senate
Students heading to college this fall will see loan rates drop under a new Senate deal.
July 25th, 2013
09:25 AM ET

Student loan deal passes Senate

By Jennifer Liberto, CNNMoney

Washington (CNNMoney) –The Senate on Wednesday approved a bipartisan deal that ensures lower interest rates on loans for students heading to college this fall.

Senators voted 81 to 18 to lower interest rates for undergraduates taking out government loans this school year to 3.86% - cheaper than the 6.8% interest rate that kicked in on July 1. The new rates would be retroactive and apply to loans taken out after July 1.

However, the bill has provisions for rates to go higher in coming years. It is expected to become law, with support from the White House and the House of Representatives, which will likely take up the bill in coming days.

"This fall, all undergraduates, subsidized or unsubsidized, would only have to pay 3.86% interest rate for the life of the loan," said Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, whose support was key to a Washington deal. "That means real savings for borrowers."

It doesn't apply to loans that students get from private lenders. It only affects Stafford loans, which are made by the U.S. government to help finance a college education. Students can apply through their university financial aid office. The loans are limited to no more than $5,500, for a mix of subsidized and unsubsidized loans for the freshmen year and $7,500 for juniors and above.

On July 1, the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans doubled from 3.4% to 6.8%.

Read the full story from CNNMoney

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Filed under: College • College costs • Politics
July 24th, 2013
10:40 AM ET

Gladwell: College football should be banned

(CNN) - Long-time New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell, "a football fan" and author of "The Tipping Point" and "Outliers," tells Fareed Zakaria that college football is similar to dog-fighting, allowing young men to smash into each other despite known neurological consequences: "The idea that as a culture we would be absolutely quick and sure about coming to the moral boiling point over the notion that you would do this to dogs and yet completely blind to the notion you would do this to young men is, to my mind, astonishing."

Gladwell says the sport should be banned, and that students and donors should boycott it.

"What has to happen for this crusade to work...is for one prominent school has got to drop the sport," he said. "That school has got to be, it's got to be Harvard or Penn or the great prize of Stanford...if Stanford walked away, I think that it would put a dagger in the heart of college football."

Share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter @CNNschools

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Filed under: College • College football • Sports • Voices
Senators announce deal on student loans
Students who graduated this year had an average of $35,200 in college-related debt.
July 18th, 2013
09:27 PM ET

Senators announce deal on student loans

By Ted Barrett, CNN

Washington (CNN) - A bipartisan group of senators announced an agreement on a student loans package Thursday that would cap rates, ending a standoff that lasted months and broke through a July 1 deadline for finding a solution.

Under the compromise measure, undergraduate students would pay a rate of 3.85% next year on subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans. The plan would cap rates on loans to undergrads at 8.25%, for graduate students at 9.5% and parents at 10.5%.

"While this is not the agreement that any of us would have written, and many of us would like to have seen something quite different, I believe we have come a very long way on reaching common ground," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip in the Senate, said at a press conference Thursday.

Sen. Tom Harkin, the Democratic chairman of the committee that oversees federal education programs, also was present in announcing the deal. The Iowa senator had resisted for weeks agreeing to a plan unless it included caps on how high the interest rates on the loans could rise.

Read the full story

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Filed under: College • College costs • Politics
Napolitano leaving Obama Cabinet to head University of California system
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will be nominated to be president of the University of California system.
July 12th, 2013
07:31 PM ET

Napolitano leaving Obama Cabinet to head University of California system

By Jessica Yellin, Aaron Cooper and Tom Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday she is resigning and will be nominated to become president of the University of California system.

In an e-mail to associates, Napolitano said she will leave the Department of Homeland Security in September. While her nomination must be approved by the university's board of regents at a meeting next week, Napolitano sounded confident of the outcome.

"Departing a job and community you love is never easy, but I am passionate about educating the next generation of leaders and the University of California is like no other institution in affording such an opportunity," her e-mail said.

She graduated from the University of Santa Clara in California in 1979 as its first female valedictorian.

Napolitano, 55, was confirmed as the nation's third homeland security secretary and the first woman to hold the post the day after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Read the full story

Five internship secrets from superstar college interns
Max Huluert interns for CBS Interactive's "GameSpot." He's attended conferences and updated graphics for shows and games.
July 10th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Five internship secrets from superstar college interns

By Julia Carpenter, Special to CNN

(CNN) - For many college students, landing a coveted internship is a feat. But making the most of the internship is the real accomplishment.With countless internship stories - both dream scenarios and nightmares - making the news lately, CNN chatted with interns past and present to find out what made their experiences so great.

Let's be real. Free food galore, tantalizing perks and pay were definitely touted, but many students say these benefits are not the keys to a great internship.

"The best internship I ever had was in the district office for Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson," says former intern Anam Iqbal. "While the internship was unpaid, the experience was priceless. I met many local political figures ... and many lifelong friends in the office."

So what's the secret? We got the skinny from interns past and present who say it's all in what you make of it. Here are five must-dos for a dynamite internship:

1. Don't get caught up on money

Caitlin Beck, a rising senior at Fordham University, interned with MTV News - for no pay - this past spring. She's working now as a restaurant hostess to save money for the school year. She says writing for the MTV News RapFix blog and coordinating guest segments in the "TRL" studio outweighed the pay issue.

"It never really made me mad because I loved it," she says. "When you're working somewhere like that, it validates you, so you almost can't get mad at them." Beck received some financial assistance, including reimbursement for transportation, from Fordham to make her internship possible.

Other interns also appeal to their schools for help making unpaid internships possible. While interning with Ashoka, a social entrepreneur think tank in Arlington, Virginia, Ayah Abo-Basha received a grant from her school's honors program - and she says it's a situation with which many of her fellow interns can sympathize.

"I'm not spending money left and right," she says. "All the interns bring their lunches."

Other students turned to part-time jobs. Iqbal had a morning job as a bank teller for the duration of her internship, and she coordinated her schedule with the bank and the congresswoman's office to make sure she could manage both commitments.

Read the full story

I was an affirmative action 'imposter'
CNN writer John Blake reveals what he learned when he became an affirmative action imposter.
July 5th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

I was an affirmative action 'imposter'

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - I walked into the room hoping no one would discover my secret.

I feared my accent would betray my identity, so I kept silent. I glanced self-consciously at my cheap clothes, wishing I could afford better. I stared at the photogenic, self-assured students around me as if they were from another planet.

For me, they were from another world.

I was a 17-year-old African-American from an impoverished, inner-city community and had no idea what I was getting into. Next to me in a college freshman orientation class were students who came from private schools and grew up in homes with swimming pools and maids.

But here was the catch: I wasn't an affirmative action enrollee at an elite white university. I was a black student thrust onto the campus of a predominantly black university. My hang-up wasn't race; it was class. I was suffering from "class shock." I was on a path to self-destruction because I didn't know how to cross the bridge from poverty into this strange, new world.

I thought about that period in my life after learning last week that the U.S. Supreme Court had upheld the use of race in college admissions but had signaled that it may soon abandon that position. People are already preparing for what may come next: Colleges are going to create diversity by using class instead of race. Some call it economic affirmative action.

It is something liberals and conservatives seem to support. That's part of its appeal. Such an approach would create diversity on college campuses without resurrecting the endless wars over race-based affirmative action.

Richard Kahlenberg, dubbed the "intellectual father" of economic affirmative action, says the current approach to affirmative action in higher education does not help many poor black students.

In his paper, "A Better Affirmative Action," Kahlenberg cited research that found 86% of contemporary black students at selective colleges were either middle or upper class.

Class-based affirmative action is something all kinds of Americans - including conservative justices on the Supreme Court - could support, he says.

"Even the most right-wing justices, like Clarence Thomas, have said that they support the idea of race-neutral affirmative action for economically disadvantaged students," he says.

Maybe so. But my experience suggests that there is a hidden challenge to such an approach. Placing poor students in top-tier colleges is only half of the battle. There's another psychological battle that some of these students will fight within themselves, and, as I found out, there's no college prep course out there to help.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Affirmative action • College • Diversity • Legal issues • Sports • Voices
July 4th, 2013
11:30 AM ET

The secret life of a college mascot

(CNN) - A college's mascot is one of the best known, most beloved figures on campus. The thing is, for the students behind the mascots, it's a secret. They can't tell anybody.

Georgia Tech's Buzz is his own bee, his own personality - not the one of the student inside - and like many schools, they try to keep the personalities separate.

"For the most part, we can lie our way our way through," one Buzz said. "Just lie on top of lie on top of lie."

Follow us on Twitter @CNNschools!

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Filed under: College • Rivalries • Sports
July 2nd, 2013
11:30 AM ET

Why foreign colleges are entering China

(CNN) - Carl Fey, dean of Nottingham University Business School China, discusses the growing number of foreign campuses opening in China. At his school, they spend the first year teaching students English, so they learn to work, study and speak in English before diving into subject matter.

"Your diploma looks exactly the same whether you graduated from Nottingham UK or Nottingham China," Fey said. "That's because the education's actually the same."

Surviving middle school - again
Wendy Sachs, left, posed with friends in 1986 on their last day of middle school. Has it gotten any easier since, she wondered?
July 1st, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Surviving middle school - again

By Wendy Sachs, Special to CNN

(CNN) - About a year ago, I sat in the auditorium at South Orange Middle School in suburban New Jersey and listened to the cheerful principal prepare the incoming sixth-grade parents for what would lie ahead. The big, bad dreaded middle school years were upon us. After the principal posted his Twitter handle so we could get his feed on our digital devices, he then tried to assure the jittery crowd that middle school isn't as awful as it used to be.

Leave your own baggage behind folks; we're in a gentler, more tolerant era.

Check out the new site, CNN.com/parenting!

Not only has social media and modern communication like Twitter and e-mail opened access to teachers and staff, but a trickle-down effect of our progressive age apparently inoculates kids from some of the horrors of those hormonally charged and awkward adolescent years. Bullying is a big no-no at school, a punishable crime in New Jersey that the school administration, fortunately, takes seriously. It's unlikely for kids to be pushed into lockers or stripped naked at gym. But the fear that your kid would be the school loser or have the dreaded "cheese touch" courtesy of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series - well, that's something that even an aggressive, politically correct school policy can't prevent.

Despite the principal's peppy speech, we remained skeptical. Parents know that middle school can be another circle of hell. We know it, because we've all lived it.

Read the full story

Follow us on Twitter @CNNschools!

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Filed under: Bullying • Middle school • Parents • Students
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