From Bizarre to Outstanding – College Trends 2010
From virtual classrooms to vegetarian jambalaya, college today is full of surprises:
Men Finish Last:
According to The New York Times’ freakonomics blog, by age 25 you’ll find 141 female college grads for every 100 men with a degree. This is due to either men taking longer to graduate high school which could reflect their parents enrolling them in school later than their daughters. Men are also taking more than 4 years to finish college and/or are more likely to take one or more gap years as they see the world before going to college.
Recession Slashes Scholarships:
Can’t balance your budget? Neither can Michigan, the state is getting rid of programs like The Michigan Competitive Scholarship and the Michigan Promise Scholarship. According to Top-Colleges.com, many states, charities and colleges are cutting back on their scholarship budgets. Thus, many students are going to have to come up with their own money for college even if they qualify for a Pell grant because competition for scholarships will be tougher. However, not everything is doom and gloom, the federal government is simplifying the application process for financial aid, the new American Opportunity tax credit reduces tax burden by as much as $2,500 for any tuition paid in 2009 and 2010, the maximum size of Pell grants is increasing by $200 and the federal Stafford college loan has decreased from 5.6% to 4.5%.
Go Country and Save a Country Mile:
Top-colleges.com reports that while many schools are raising their tuition costs, those that are in rural locations or that have a comparatively lower ranking are reducing their costs and offering scholarships to out-of-state students. As such, attending an out-of-state school may be cheaper than it once was. Another advantage of rural colleges is that they are “usually near wilderness areas, have educational opportunities related to science and nature-not to mention fun outdoor activities. For example, Wester State College’s proximity to the Rocky Mountains make it a great school…if you’re studying geology or are an avid hiker” according to collegeboard.com
No More “Freshman 15”
The common weight gain first-year students experience in their first year in college may become a thing of the past with low-carb beers, delicious salad bars, convenient veggie burgers and a multicultural menu of choices. According to Sodexo, a leading provider of integrated food and facilities services, the Top-10 College Food Trends for 2001 are: Apricot-glazed Turkey, Meatloaf with Frizzle-Fried Onions, Vietnamese Pho (Rice Noodle Soup), Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Adobo (Mexican Stew with Chilies), Stuffed Pork Chops, Vegetarian Jambalaya, Lemon Herbed Baked Tilapia, Rotisserie Chicken and Home Style Pot Roast. Hungry for an education?
The $50,000 iPod
What do you get when you study at Duke University and spend an estimated $50,750 a year for the privilege? A free Apple iPod! That’s right; the freshman class won’t be left behind technologically speaking. The device will include orientation facts, an academic calendar and faculty course content with room for additional downloads. Another digital breakthrough is the introduction of Amazon Kindle in several colleges, according to USA Today, after testing the Kindle DX at “Princeton University, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, [the only clear consensus] is this…the inability to easily highlight text was the biggest lowlight of the experience.”
Cost of Duke can be found at: http://www.admissions.duke.edu/faq/indexf222.html?iQuestionID=526%20&iCategoryID=0
According to look-look.com, “Traditional universities are beginning to increase their online course offerings for on-campus students, providing them with greater scheduling flexibility, increased independence and arguably more responsibility. The virtual classroom seems to be taking over much more than the virtual office ever did in the early ’90s. Say goodbye to passing notes and sticking gum under the seat.”
Majors Gone Wild
Traditional majors like business and engineering aren’t for everyone, according to the book “They Teach That In College!?” There are 96 unusual majors in fast-growing fields with good salary prospects. Consider Sustainable Business which deals with environmentally-conscious profitability; Computer and Digital Forensics which involves detective work through digital evidence found in computers, cell phones and PDA’s. Comic book fans know that the field has grown 12% since 2006, but do they know Comic Book Art is an actual major? And if you’re scientifically inclined, consider a major in Nanoscience/Nanotechnology where you will study objects one-billionth of a meter in size including cosmetics, stain-resistant clothing, batteries and even solar cells. Even future business majors that want to start their own companies someday might be better off with a major in Entrepreneurship, which involves a working knowledge of fields like accounting, economics and advertising but with an emphasis in rewarding individuals looking to be their own boss. And why not? More than 75% of U.S. millionaires today are self-employed.
From “The Science of Harry Potter” to “The Joy of Garbage” you can study elective courses in almost anything. There are just so many different electives nowadays to enroll in, getting a degree is anything but boring. Some elective treks are for example, according to Fox News, include “Occidental College’s course titled Blackness, which elaborates on a “new blackness,” “critical blackness,” “post-blackness,” and an “unforgivable blackness,” which all combine to create a “feminist New Black Man.” If you want something more mainstream, the article “The 15th Strangest Courses in America” includes wild offerings like Georgetown University’s “Philosophy and Star Trek,” “The Science of Superheroes” at the University of California at Irvine, “Arguing with Judge Judy” at the University of California at Berkeley and “The Art of Walking” at Centre College.
The 15 Strangest Courses in America