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Daily IU News Round-up

June 16, 2009

Only 53% finish college within 6 years in state
Universities say they're working on ways to combat reasons students drop out, June 16 -- Megan Johnson knew she'd attend college, but she also knew graduating would take awhile. She had to work full time to cover living expenses while attending IUPUI. Roughly half of Indiana students won't obtain a bachelor's degree within six years of starting college, according to a new report from the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank. The report, which looked at the graduation rates of more than 1,300 American colleges and universities, found that only 53 percent of Indiana college students finish within six years. Full story.

Indiana Humanities Projects Receive National Funding
Inside Indiana Business, June 15 -- Five Indiana organizations received a total of $831,976 in grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grants, which fund high quality humanities projects, were awarded to Allen County Public Library, Ball State University, Earlham College, Indiana Humanities Council and Indiana University. Full story.

Voices in the news

Understanding whistle-blowers, June 15 -- Research by academics at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business and Georgetown University has argued that many organizations simply fail to put in place the right policies to encourage whistle-blowers to report wrongdoing internally, and therefore suffer the consequences. "Most of the people who blow the whistle do so internally first. They go to the hierarchy and try to tell people that something's wrong . . . 80 per cent of them stop at that point," pointed out Janet Near, chair of Kelley School's department of management and entrepreneurship. Full story.

People skeptical about 'free' products
UPI, June 16 -- U.S. researchers say they found that people really believe that there is no free lunch, or you can't get "something for nothing." Study authors Michael A. Kamins of Stony Brook University, Valerie S. Folkes of the University of Southern California and Alexander Fedorikhin of Indiana University find that describing a bundled item -- like razors and razor blades -- as free decreases the amount consumers are willing to pay for each product when sold individually. They call this the "freebie devaluation" effect. Full story.

From the Chronicle

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Student-Loan Case
A relatively small amount of money at stake in an unusual bankruptcy case could have big implications for the student-loan industry. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to hear arguments in a case that hinges on whether students can avoid repaying their federally backed student loans without showing that making the payments would cause them financial distress or "undue hardship." Full story.

Study Finds Drinking by College Students on the Rise
Despite university campaigns to discourage alcohol abuse, a new study shows that drinking-related activities among college students have increased over the last decade. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which used figures from government databases and national surveys, the number of alcohol-related deaths among 18- to 24-year-olds rose from 1,440 in 1998 to 1,825 in 2005. Full story.


College Rankings Reeling From Rigging Accuasations
Georgetown Voice, June 16 -- The world of Higher Education has been in a tizzy lately over a couple allegations of ranking rigging. I know what you're thinking: 'What? The U.S. News & World Report college ranking system isn't a pristine, uncorrupted process that results in a completely accurate, objectively true portrait of how colleges and universities stack up? Preposterous!' But that's what some are claiming, Full story.

How Much Student Debt Is Too Much? (Opinion)
The New York Times, June 16 -- With colleges slashing financial aid and family budgets squeezed, freshmen entering college in the fall will probably borrow more this year than last. As it is, the average level of student debt for the Class of 2007 was about $20,000, with borrowers at private colleges owing more than $25,000. Full story.

Community Colleges Fight to Give 4-year Degrees
The Detroit News, June 16 -- After 19 years as a machinist, Gregg Schefferly suddenly found himself laid off and in search of a new career. He needed a higher education, but living outside rural Alpena and saddled with a mortgage that kept him from moving away, Schefferly, 44, had one option: an associate degree from Alpena Community College. But the geographical and financial barriers that blocked Schefferly from a bachelor's degree may soon be lessened as state lawmakers take up legislation this year to allow Michigan's 28 community colleges to confer bachelor's degrees in nursing, culinary arts and concrete technology in an effort to meet the state's work force needs and improve access to higher education. Full story.

In Tough Times, Consumers Tend to Trade Down on College Choices Too
Chicago Tribune, June 16 -- For years, doomsayers have warned that college tuition can't keep shooting up. Unsustainable. Unaffordable. A bubble. Yet up it goes, year after year. With a recession on, you might think bubble-popping time is here. Not quite, but a more subtle change is under way in the marketplace of higher education. Full story.

States Considering Cutting College Scholarships, June 15 -- Legislators in California, Ohio and Florida are considering reducing funding for grants and scholarships aimed at assisting thousands of low- and middle-income students. USA Today reports that the cutbacks will undoubtedly impact families already struggling to afford escalating college tuition hikes. Full story.

Daily IU News Round-up is distributed to faculty and staff at IU, and it contains a short review of media coverage relating to IU administrative and student news, federal and state legislative policy, and trends and issues in higher education. Prepared by the IU Office of University Communications, the Daily IU News Round-up is not an all-inclusive gathering of news featuring IU faculty and staff. To subscribe to the Daily IU News Round-up list or to have your name removed, please contact Susan Williams, Office of University Communications,