Friday, February 27, 2009

Higher education headlines

Tough times drive up community college enrollment - Southtown
Illinois Community College Board spokesman Steve Morse said that trend is in line with what he's been seeing.

"People coming out of high school are choosing community colleges because it's more affordable," he said. "Many will go for a year or two instead of going to college right away."

Final figures aren't available yet for this semester, but a national group representing community colleges says the average increase from spring to spring is dramatic and similar to enrollment bumps Southland schools are experiencing.
Word of advice don't let anyone encourage you from going to a community college, especially if your goal is to go to a four year school and get your bachelor's. There's nothing wrong with going to a community college. NONE!

More students a two-edged sword - Southtown
An influx of students means tighter quarters. Some community colleges around the state are opening up lab sections on weekends, while others have met their quota of students per section and simply don't have enough room or teachers to offer another class, Morse said.

"They have to say, 'You can't take that English class this semester,' " Morse said.

Complicating the issue is a dip in state funding, Morse said. Illinois' system of 39 community colleges has complained that state aid has not kept pace with rising enrollment, and in fact, has been dwindling.
Northwestern approaches $50,000 - Sun-Times
Facing a steep drop in its endowment, Northwestern University says its tuition, room and board will rise 3.6 percent this fall, -- to nearly $50,000.

But a Northwestern spokesman said the school has no plans for salary cuts or major layoffs and described the tuition increase as its smallest in 40 years. Scholarships will increase by 10 percent to $86 million.

Northwestern said its endowment has fallen to $5.6 billion, a 24 percent drop from its high of $7.4 billion last April. The school plans to cut operating expenses 3 percent and put off $90 million in construction projects.
Precisely why students who are looking towards college should never turn down any alternatives such as going to a lower-cost school or a community college. If $50K is considered a modest increase then I'm scared to know what full tuition would otherwise be.

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