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Here are the Top 10 Universities, According to U.S. News

Love ’em or hate ’em the annual U.S. Rankings of the country’s universities have been revealed. Though many accuse the rankings of being an outdated system where the same schools always rise to the top, they can be an interesting way to compare some of the many institutions of higher education in the country.

princeton

Though you really can’t narrow the college experience down to a few measurable data points, the people behind the U.S. News rankings try their best to determine what combination of factors creates the nation’s top schools. Factors considered include student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rates.

Based on those factors and more, here are the top 10 American universities for 2015.

10. California Institute of Technology
Tuition and fees (2014-2015): $43,362
Enrollment: 977
The student-to-faculty ratio at the California Institute of Technology is 3:1. Its students are actively involved in research projects with NASA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Campuses Still Don’t Know What to do About Rape

If you were the victim of sexual assault while at school, you would expect that something would be done about it. Unfortunately, there are now nearly 80 colleges and universities under federal investigation due to Title IX violations stemming from how the institutions of higher education handle reports of sexual assault. Hint: it’s not well.

Many times, when sexual assault or rape is reported on college campuses, the consequences hardly match the crime. Then there are the times when instead of the rapist being punished, the victim is blamed because they were too drunk or too scantily clad to have a legitimate complaint.

Take for example the case of a young woman who was raped after a party at the University of Kansas last year. She had been drinking, and was assisted back to the dorms by a fellow student. The young woman was raped, she reported the attack, and the young man later confessed to the campus police that he had continued to have sex with her after she said, “no,” “stop,” and “I can’t do this.”

Even with the confession, the local police refused to prosecute the male student for sexual assault. The local district attorney announced on September 3 that he will consider filing charges in the case due to receiving new information. The alleged attack happened on October 18, 2013.

The school did take action against the male student, punishing him by putting him on probation, banning him from campus housing, and telling him to write a four-page paper. KU also considered giving him community service, but it was decided that measure was too “punitive.” In the meantime, the young woman was threatened with arrest for underage drinking at the party before the alleged rape.

“People need to know how little attention this is being given when they do come forward to the university,” the young woman said about the lenient punishment and lack of support from local law enforcement to the Huffington Post.

“You get serious consequences for plagiarizing, and you get horrible consequences if you have a six-pack of beer in your dorm. I think this is more serious than those, and it’s given very little attention.”

Another young woman who was the victim of rape is taking matters into her own hands to get others to pay attention to her case. She says she was raped by a classmate on the first day of her sophomore year at Columbia University. Now a senior, she has designed her senior thesis to aid in her protest that rapist has been allowed to remain on campus.

In May, she wrote in Time what her experience has been like. “Every day, I am afraid to leave my room. Even seeing people who look remotely like my rapist scares me. Last semester I was working in the dark room in the photography department. Though my rapist wasn’t in my class, he asked permission from his teacher to come and work in the dark room during my class time. I started crying and hyperventilating. As long as he’s on campus with me, he can continue to harass me.”

Her protest is simple act of carrying around a twin-sized dorm mattress similar to the one on which she was attacked. She intends to carry it “for as long as I attend the same school as my rapist.”

Sexual assault and rape are serious issues on college campuses. It’s not a growing trend, but rather a trend that is gaining much more attention that it has in years past. Hopefully, with the added attention, victims may finally get the justice they deserve.

Also Read:

Rape Victim Fights Two-Year Court Battle for Not Cheering Attacker

Name of Klan Member Dropped from University of Texas Dorm

Students Invent Nail Polish That Detects Date Rape Drugs

Video by the Columbia Daily Spectator



The 5 Largest Charitable Donations Ever Made to American Universities

A private liberal arts school in rural Kentucky called Centre College has announced a $250 million donation from the Brockman Charitable Trust. Centre College has an enrollment of just over 1,000 students and the gift puts them in the top 20 worldwide for the all-time biggest charitable donations made to a university. While there’s nothing better than a quarter billion dollars to put your university on the map,—go Praying Colonels!— it’s only chump change compared to the charity that more well-known colleges receive. We’ve compiled a list of the five largest donations to American universities; how they came about, who gave them, and how they shaped the university.

EDU college

5. Johns Hopkins University, $350 million from Michael R. Bloomberg

When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $350 million to his alma mater earlier this year, his total lifelong donation to the university topped the $1 billion mark. His most recent donation will create cross-disciplinary programs and fund faculty appointments. The rest of the $35o million will help award 2,600 scholarships over the next 10 years.

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Forbes Announces Top Colleges: Does Your Pick Make the List?

I still remember being a restless high school senior waiting to cut my ties and finally make it to college. My sister had chosen a community college for her freshman-sophomore experience just three years before me, and since I followed in her footsteps in most areas I naturally considered taking the same route.

So on a hot day in mid-May back in 2004, my mom and I made the journey just one hour south of Wichita, Kansas, to check out the college that would soon be my new home. While my stay there was short – just two years until I could snag my associates degree – it was memorable. And the following two years spent at Wichita State University securing my bachelor’s degree were even more enjoyable than the first.

When I was looking for schools, my top priorities were proximity, price and degree offerings, among other minor considerations. Out-of-state universities weren’t an option for me as tuition would’ve been outrageous. And along the consideration of price, I also wanted a school that could offer me a scholarship.

Earlier this month, Forbes announced its list of top 650 colleges in America. Among its highest-ranking universities were Princeton, Williams College and Stanford, with Johnson & Wales and Texas Southern University snagging the last spots in 649th and 650th place.

While some have criticized the methods Forbes and other news sources, including US News and Newsweek, use to determine their respective rankings, there’s really no one, tried and true way to determine which colleges are superior. Because the truth is, everyone has their own opinion about what makes one college better than another. Read the rest of this entry »



Columbia Insults Barnard In Response to Announcement of 2012 Commencement Speaker

While students at Barnard College are thrilled that President Obama will be delivering their commencement address this year, their peers at Columbia College were less than thrilled with the announcement. Several Columbia students recently posted comments on the school’s student-run blog, Bwog, that protested Obama’s decision to speak at Barnard instead of Columbia, his alma mater, and also that insulted Barnard students’ and their intelligence. Many of these comments were highly anti-feminist in nature.

Some of the comments were more offensive than others. A few of the most offensive were submitted to Jezebel.com, and refer to Barnard students as “c*m dumpsters,” “academically inferior,” and “feminazis.”

There has been a great amount of opposition from the student bodies at both schools towards these sexist comments. A Facebook group has been created to admonishes those who were making the comments and many administrators and students have been speaking out against them as well.

Debora Spar, president of Barnard College, and President Less Bollinger, University President, made a joint statement in which they showed their displeasure at the comments which were made in several online communities.

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Students Are Taking Remedial Classes They Do Not Need

According to new studies from the Teachers College at Columbia University, many community colleges are placing students in remedial classes when the students do not actually need them. The schools are relying on the students’ scores on standardized tests, but the studies show that they would be better able to place students in the appropriate classes if they relied on the students’ high school GPAs instead.

Most students would not like to take remedial classes if they do not have to, and the reason why this is makes a lot of sense. Remedial classes are a waste of money and time if students do not actually need them because they do not receive any credit for these classes. In fact, more than 75 percent of students who start out taking remedial classes in college do not earn a degree, and this could be simply because they get burned out taking remedial classes.

“We hear a lot about the high rates of failure in college-level classes at community colleges,” said Judith Scott-Clayton, a professor at the Teachers College and the author of one of the studies. “Those are very visible. What’s harder to see are the students who could have done well at college level but never got the chance because of these placement tests.”

The placement tests that Scott-Clayton is referring to are most commonly the College Board’s Accuplacer and the ACT’s Compass. These tests have been used at many schools since the 1980s to determine what classes students should be placed in, based on their scores on the tests. Many students are told not to prepare for the tests because they are only used for placement, but this can lead to students  being placed in classes that are not the appropriate level for them. According to the two new studies from Columbia University, schools would do well to rely less on these tests and more on the students’ high school GPAs as an indicator of the students’ abilities.

The trend is being seen in schools across the country.

“I haven’t seen the studies, but what I do know is that when I talk with leaders of community colleges, a lot of them have issues with the diagnostic tests and sense that far too many students are being put in developmental, remedial education, especially in math,” said Walter Bumphus, president of the American Association of Community Colleges. “Almost every one of them has some plan to change that.”

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Mitch Albom’s Education Background

Mitchel David “Mitch” Albom was born on May 23, 1958 in Passaic, New Jersey. Albom attended high schools in Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia. One of his schools included Akiba Hebrew Academy in Lower Merion. Albom attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Albom went on to graduate school and earned Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Albom then received a MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.

Mitchel David AlbomAlbom worked his way through graduate school with a few minor writing jobs. He wrote for the Queens Tribune, a weekly newspaper. Albom even he wrote for local supermarket circulars. Eventually he took a part-time job with SPORT magazine, which began his interest in sports writing. Albom freelanced as a sports writer for multiple publications such as Sports Illustrated, GEO, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Albom earned his first full-time position in 1983. He was hired as a full-time feature writer for The Fort Lauderdale News Sun Sentinel. Eventually he became a columnist. In 1985 Albom won the Associated Press Sports Editors award for best Sports News Story. This lead to Albom’s promotion to lead sports columnist for The Detroit Free Press. In 1989 Albom branched out from sports writing. He was asked to write a non-sports column. The column ran on Sundays in the “Comment” section. It dealt with American life and values. Eventually Albom’s column was syndicated across the country.

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Columbia University Offers Course Allowing Students to Participate in Occupy Wall Street

Columbia University SealThe first student I heard of who earned college credit for participating in Occupy Wall Street was Henry Perkins, a junior at the University of Alabama. However, Perkins will certainly not be the only student earning college credit for participating in the movement.

Columbia University recently announced plans to offer a course next semester in which students can study and participate in the movement. The class will be offered through the anthropology department and will be taught by Dr. Hannah Appel, a veteran of the movement. It is called “Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement.” Upperclassmen and graduate students will be able to take the class.

“Class requirements will be divided between seminar at Columbia and fieldwork in and around the Occupy movement,” according to the class syllabus. “In addition to scheduled seminar[s], this class will meet off-campus several times, and students will be expected to be involved in ongoing OWS projects outside of class, to be developed in close conversation with the instructor.”

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Many Schools Extend Early Admissions Deadline After Freak Winter Storm

College Common Application LogoWhen an unseasonal snow storm swept through the Northeast last week, many families were left without electricity. This means no heaters, no warm water, and the worst thing for high school seniors: no computers or internet to use to submit their early applications for college acceptance.

The deadline for many colleges for early application was November 1, 2011. For many students who wanted to apply early to their choice schools, the lack of power in their homes forced them to flock to local coffee shops, bookstores, and other public places that still had electricity to charge their laptops and working Internet connections in order to submit their applications.

“I actually had a nervous breakdown, said Victoria Ngo, a high school student who wanted to apply early admission to Villanova University. Ngo found herself without power and was unable to complete her personal statement, which was saved on her laptop, because the computer’s battery had died. Luckily, Ngo was able to go to her cousin’s home in another city where she could charge her computer and finish her personal statement on time.

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Students Who Use Social Networks More likely to Try Drugs and Alcohol

red ashtray with cigarette buttsThe National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University uncovered a link between social networks and drug, tobacco and alcohol usage. The center surveyed teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 and found the majority, 70 percent, of those who checked their Facebook or Myspace daily were more likely to try and even abuse these substances.

The study revealed that these adolescents were five times more likely to try tobacco, three times more likely to try alcohol and twice as likely to try marijuana than their non-avid using counterparts.

“We’re not saying (social media) causes it,” Joseph Califano said, the center’s chairman. “But we are saying that this is a characteristic that should signal to (parents) that, well, you ought to be watching.”

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