College Endowments: Richest Universities Lose Money

Here's How Much Money the Country’s Richest College Endowments Lost Last Year
By Kaitlin Mulhere
Blame it on bad investments. A brand-new study of 815 college endowments finds they had an average investment return in fiscal year 2016 of negative 1.9%—the lowest since the 2008-09 financial crisis. That's just one reason endowments slid in market value this past year, according to the annual NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments, released Tuesday morning. Other key factors were management fees (sometimes in the millions of dollars) and a modest increase in spending. At the country's 10 richest colleges, endowments tumbled an aggregate $2.7 billion in value last year. Those negative market returns came during a period in which the S&P 500 was up 4%. But endowment assets tend to have only a portion of assets in domestic stocks, and other markets were less rosy. An average 20% of endowment assets are invested in global stocks, for instance, and global and emerging market equities were down 9% and 11%, respectively. And so-called alternative strategies, including energy, commodities, and hedge funds—which account for more than half of endowment assets—were down 1.4% during fiscal year 2016, according to the report.
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Should social media play a role in the college application process? - Story

Rachel Steibing 7:13 AM, Jan 27, 2017 3 hours ago

SATs are in play, so is a potential college student's list of extracurriculars. But should their social media activity be part of the college admissions process?

Too late, because it already is.

A study by Kaplan Test Prep says 40% of colleges and universities check such accounts and they predict the number will grow.

Boelter & Lincoln social media expert Katie Klein joined Wisconsin's Morning News with some tips of what teens should and shouldn't be posting. 

“They’re looking for images, comments, and contributions to forums that demonstrate violence or inappropriate behavior, potential drug or alcohol problems, anything that demonstrates racism," says Klein. "Those are key areas that children should just stay away from if they’re thinking about going to college.”

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College Meal Plans and Dorms Are Getting More Expensive

Kristin Wong - Yesterday 9:30am

If the cost of college wasn’t high enough, there are a handful of “hidden” costs to consider, too. Food, for example, can add up. According to the Department of Education, college meal plans have increased almost 50% in the last ten years.

The Sneaky, Hidden Costs of College Life (and How to Save)

College gets more expensive every year. And crazy tuition aside, there are a number of sneakier,… Read more on Meal plans give students the option to eat a certain number of meals at the college’s dining hall every week. According to an analysis from the Hechinger Report, the average cost of these plans is more expensive than what the average person spends on food (emphasis ours):

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College Is the Goal. Will These Three Teenagers Get There? -

College Is the Goal. Will These Three Teenagers Get There? By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS

It’s college application season, and The New York Times is at Topeka High School in Kansas, following seniors as they decide where to apply — and whether college is even the right choice for them. Follow along as we introduce you to students in Facebook Live chats, and bring in experts to talk through some major issues for families facing this often confusing process.

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Harvard University must release admissions data | Fusion

By Caroline Linton
Harvard University will have to release six years’ worth of admission data due to a lawsuit filed by a group with ties to anti-affirmative action organizations that alleges the university’s admission system hurts Asian American applicants.

The Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) filed a lawsuit against Harvard in 2014, alleging that the university has a quota system that has negatively affected Asian Americans’ admission to the school, according to the Harvard Crimson. The case has been stagnant while the Supreme Court mulled Fisher vs. The University of Texas at Austin. In July, the Supreme Court upheld UT-Austin’s race-based admission program, but wrote in its opinion that “considerable deference is owed to a university in defining those intangible characteristics, like student body diversity, that are central to its identity and educational mission.”

At Harvard, U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs ruled Harvard must provide “data from the admissions database” from 2009-2014, as well as limited information from 2007-2009, according to the Crimson. The school is also ordered to release all previous investigations into alleged discrimination.

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This university student is taking cost cutting to the extreme - The Globe and Mail

ROB CARRICK The Globe and Mail Published Monday, Sep. 05, 2016 4:42PM EDT Last updated Monday, Sep. 05, 2016 9:18PM EDT 6

Jahnome McEwan plans to go through the entirety of 2017 without spending on anything but necessities and a dinner out now and then with his girlfriend. Spending on everything else – clothes, electronics, socializing with friends – is out.

“We’ve been trying to figure out ways we can save our money,” the York University student said in an interview. “We decided, let’s just do a complete paradigm shift and not spend at malls at all. Don’t buy clothing, don’t buy anything for a full year. See how much we can save, see how much we can invest. Do the complete opposite of what’s going on.”

Right now, what’s going on is a back-to-school season that ranks second only to winter holiday shopping in terms of how much we spend. Inflation’s up 1.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis, yet a recent poll of 1,506 parents suggested spending on school supplies, clothes and such will on average rise 43 per cent over last year. The poll, commissioned by coupon website, pegged average spending at $472 per child.

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Why Your Child's College Major May Not Be Worth It

Kelley Long, Contributor

Do you have a child approaching or in college? As more than 20 million college students head back to school this year, many will be making what is arguably the most important financial decision of their entire career before they even start: declaring their major. Granted, only about 20% of graduates take home the degree that they started on, but the sooner students gain clarity on this direction, the easier it will be to graduate in the standard 4 years and hopefully with minimal student loans. While 85% of people surveyed by Credit Karma feel like their education was a good investment, 70% are losing sleep over their student loans, which begs the question: is that education really worth it?

Holding a college degree or vocational/technical certificate is pretty much necessary these days in order to achieve other common American milestones such as buying a home, retiring comfortably at the age desired and living a life of low financial stress. Much is made of people like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson who made billions without college degrees, but part of the reason these are noteworthy stories is because they are the exception. At the end of the day, the major your child pursues is a key factor in whether or not college is worth it or at least whether taking out student loans is worth it.

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SAT subject tests lose favor for colleges - The Boston Globe

By Laura Krantz GLOBE STAFFAUGUST 22, 2016
Several top New England colleges have joined a growing number of schools nationally that no longer require applicants to submit scores from SAT subject tests, saying the specialized exams lend little insight into students’ readiness and can work against low-income and minority students.

In the past year, Amherst College, Dartmouth College, and Williams College all have dropped the subject test requirement, taking a lead from Columbia University, which announced the new policy this spring. Duke University and Vassar College also no longer require the tests, often called SAT II.

The shift occurs amid a larger discussion in higher education about the value of standardized testing in admissions. Some colleges, especially less-selective private schools but also such public colleges as UMass Lowell and Salem State, have made the main SAT and ACT tests optional.

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The College Drop-Off: Why It Sucks And 5 Ways To Survive

Laura A Boggs freelance writer, novelist and regular blogger at
You’ve finished arranging the toss pillows in your freshman’s dorm room, so you tell her one last time to eat her vegetables and not to wear white after Labor Day before you issue a lipstick-y kiss goodbye. Then you curl up in the backseat while your spouse drives in silence and you ache. What to do after that day, after you’ve arrived back home?

What’s to follow wandering empty rooms, sobbing and wailing like a toddler: “I want (insert your child’s name here)!”?

Not that I’ve done that.

Dumping (because that’s what it feels like) your kid for their first year at college is, I’m here to report, as heartbreaking as you imagined. One normally stoic mom I know cried for 24 hours straight; another lost it in the grocery store when she realized she didn’t need to buy her daughter’s favorite foods.

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Free College? The U.S. Should Look at State Models That Are Already Working - The Chronicle of Higher Education

By Nancy L. Zimpher AUGUST 16, 2016

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle Hillary Clinton’s stance on public higher education — that every American student should be able to graduate from college debt free and, in millions of cases, tuition free — marks the first time that such a bold, expansive proposal has been put forth by a major party’s presidential nominee.

This proposition could not come at a more crucial time. As Clinton proposes, and as President Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders have said, we must expand college access like never before and solve the problem of staggering student-loan debt once and for all.

And we can — but the reality is that college can never actually be free. Someone has to pay for our institutions to operate, to educate, to innovate, and to grow.

However, public colleges and universities could make attendance tuition free for students from low- and middle-income families, or roughly 80 percent of the population, if the federal government were to make the necessary investment in higher education that a policy of this magnitude would require. This remains a big "if," at least for the time being, but the fact that the conversation is so prevalent today represents a real opportunity.

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Don’t trust your friends’ advice on getting into college — and other tips from admissions experts - The Washington Post

By Valerie Strauss August 11 at 2:50 PM
It’s that time of year again when high school seniors have to seriously turn their attention to applying to college — at least those who intend to go to college and who haven’t already started obsessing on the process. Every year college admissions counselors try to help kids put their best foot forward to colleges and universities — even when students don’t listen and think they know better. Here, in the spirit of being helpful, is some advice from the experts, college admissions counselors who have learned these tips the hard way. The advice was compiled by Brennan Barnard...

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Researchers Study Effects Of Social Media On Young Minds : NPR

Researchers Study Effects Of Social Media On Young Minds

 August 9, 20165:00 AM ET  SHANKAR VEDANTAM

Teens showed an image that was deemed to have lots of "likes" tended to also like the image. Seeing popular pictures also produced greater activation in the reward centers of the brain.

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