April 2012

  • StraighterLine Death Match Series, Part I: StraighterLine vs. Oxford University

    Barry Lenson

    StraighterLine vs. Oxford University: Death Match Series, Part I If you’re a high school student who is making college plans, chances are you have been trying to decide whether it makes more sense for you to take classes at StraighterLine or Oxford University, the hoary British University that dates from sometime around the year 1,100. Here are some helpful comparisons to help you decide . . . Which has better online courses? – It’s a tie! Oxford now offers 84 courses that are taught online. Not bad! So let’s call this one a tie. Which costs less? – StraighterLine wins! American students attending Oxford pay about $21,000 in US dollars for yearly tuition. StraighterLine offers a Freshman Year of College for $999, whi ...

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  • Politicians, Please Stop the War on Stafford Loans

    Barry Lenson

    Politicians, Please Stop the War on Stafford Loans Last week president Obama made an appearance on the "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show in an episode that was recorded at The University of North Carolina. President Obama did a long interview with Fallon about a variety of issues. But where students are concerned, the most important part of the evening came when he did a “Slow Jam the News” recitation of his defense of preserving current interest rates on Stafford Loans. Fallon, Obama and the leader of The Roots (the Late Night show’s band) did a slow rap about the loans. Here’s a selection of what president Obama had to say . . . “On July 1st of this year, the interest rates on Stafford student loans, the sa ...

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  • Study Strategies to Get Great Grades on Your Final Exams

    Barry Lenson

    On college campuses all over the nation, students are thinking, “How can it be the end of April already? How can it be that I have to gear up and start studying for finals again?” Yup, this year has gone awfully fast. But the calendar doesn’t lie and if you are facing finals in the next few weeks, it’s time to gear up and shift your studying into high gear. Here are some strategies that can make your studying easier, earn you higher grades, and maybe even pump up your GPA a notch or two as the year draws to a close. Use study groups to reduce big reading loads. If you had to read hundreds and hundreds of pages for a class, it can be nearly impossible to review them all effectively before a final. A better idea? Ask four o ...

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  • Busted Myth of the Week: It's an Equal Playing Field for Men and Women in American Higher Education Today

    Barry Lenson

    Busted Myth of the Week: It’s an Equal Playing Field for Men and Women in American Higher Education Today There is a common belief today that the men and women enjoy equal status when applying to college – that discrimination is a thing of the past and that women stand just as good a chance of getting into top colleges as men do. It’s not true. In fact, women still suffer from discrimination in American colleges and universities in ways that could surprise you. To quote from an article in Mother Jones, “In recent years, several college leaders have admitted that their institutions give a boost to male applicants to maintain gender balance on campus. Most students of either sex, they point out, prefer such balance. If Vassar a ...

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  • Latest Standardized Testing Outrage

    Barry Lenson

    Latest Standardized Testing Outrage: The SAT Prepares to Use Computers to Grade Student Essay Section Up until now, the College Board has had a big problem with the essay section of its SAT exam. How could the company grade tens of thousands of handwritten SAT essays every year? In years past, the College Board has been forced to hire actual human beings to grade all those essays. But according to “Facing a Robo-Grader? Just Keep Obfuscating Mellifluously,” an article by Michael Winerip in The New York Times, that is about to change.  Winerip reports that the College Board has developed a computer program called e-Rater that can grade 16,000 essays in 20 seconds. That could save the College Board a ton of money every year. But W ...

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