Philly Colleges with Highest Salary Potential

Which Philadelphia-area colleges lead to the highest salaries? PayScale has the answers in its recently released College Salary Report. It ranked more than 1,000 colleges by the median salaries of alumni (early career and mid-career) who obtained bachelor’s degrees. The rankings come from “millions of people” who have taken the PayScale Salary Survey, the organization said.

“Unless you want to live in your parents’ basement for the rest of your life, you want to pick a school that prepares you for a successful career, both in terms of getting hired and equipping you with the skills to properly do your job,” said PayScale. Read more »

The Best-Paid Local Public College Presidents Are …

Nittany Lion | Shutterstock.com. University of Delaware Blue Hen | Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

Nittany Lion | Shutterstock.com. University of Delaware Blue Hen | Aspen Photo / Shutterstock.com

Two local (sort of) institutions have presidents who were among the top 10 highest-paid presidents of public universities, according to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education. This week, Time compared that data to Money magazine’s new list of “schools that provide the most value for your tuition dollar.”

Number seven on the Chronicle‘s Top 10 list is Patrick T. Harker, president of the University of Delaware, who received total compensation of $800,156 for the 2013-’14 school year. Money magazine ranks UD 65th on its “best value” list.

And the highest-paid public university president in the country during that time period? Ex-Penn State prez Rodney A. Erickson, whose total compensation for the final year of his tenure (he stepped down at the end of the 2013-’14 school year) was $1,494,603 — though that figure includes the value of a university-sponsored life insurance package that was discontinued that year and thus transferred to him. (Not for nothing, though, Eric Barron, who replaced him as Penn State president, was hired at a higher base salary, $800,000, than Erickson’s, $633,336.)  Read more »

The Top Party School in Pennsylvania Is … Who?!?

Yesterday the Princeton Review released its new 2015 list of the “Top Party Schools” in the nation, and certain parties Are. Not. Happy. In particular, there’s Bucknell University, a tiny (3,600 undergrads) school in will-o’-the-wisp Lewisburg, PA, (population 6,000), nestled along the Susquehanna River. On this year’s list, Bucknell sits in the number four slot, behind only the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (number one), the University of Iowa (number two) and the University of Wisconsin (number three, duh), all of which have, oh, hey, say, 10 times as many students as Bucknell. Read more »

Pennsylvania Has a Ton of Student Debt

The personal-finance website WalletHub has compiled a list of the best and worst states in terms of student debt, which is now the largest component of Americans’ household debt except for mortgages — a grand total of $1.9 trillion at the moment. Data used to calculate the best and worst include average student debt, the unemployment rate for residents ages 25 to 34, student debt as a percentage of household income, and the percent of residents with past-due loan balances, among other factors.

Pennsylvania, which tied with North Carolina at number 32 on a list running from best (Utah) to worst (Mississippi), doesn’t look so bad at first blush. Read more »

Cheyney University Is Down to One Math Major

cheyney-940x540The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that enrollment at Cheyney University, the only HBCU institution among the 14 state-owned universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, is in both financial and enrollment dire straits. The Delaware County school, half of whose students come from Philadelphia, is on its third line of credit from the SSHE, for $6.5 million, and the federal government is examining whether Cheyney misused or misdirected federal student aid. The school, the nation’s oldest African-American institution of higher learning, has had nine different presidents in the past 14 years. But most alarming? Read more »

Penn Dropping Essay Portion of SAT Test

Editor’s note: The original headline has been changed to reflect that Penn won’t require the essay portion of the SAT Writing test.

Remember way back in — oh, has it been 10 years already? — 2005, when the College Board created an uproar by adding a new essay-writing component to its longstanding Verbal and Math SAT tests? A spokeswoman for the Board at the time said the move was made in response to demand from colleges and businesses, who hoped that “writing will become more of a priority across the United States.”

Now the University of Pennsylvania is creating its own little uproar by announcing that as of next year, it will no longer require applicants to submit scores from the essay sections of either the SAT or the ACT. Dean of Admissions Eric Furda told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the decision was one that had been “carefully considered”: Read more »

One Philly College Makes Forbes’ Top 10 List

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Photo credit: Fritz Ward via Flickr.

Well, Forbes has published its 2015 list of the Top Colleges in the U.S., and it’s bound to cause some consternation among status-conscious grads hereabouts, given what New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has called these rankings’ “quasi-biblical power.” Alas, the only local school to crack the Top 10 was Swarthmore, weighing in at number seven. (True, Princeton stands in fourth place, but we can never quite decide whether it’s “local” or not.)

For the curious, here are the Top 10 in order: 1) Pomona College; 2) Williams College; 3) Stanford; 4) Princeton; 5) Yale; 6) Harvard; 7) Swarthmore; 8) Brown; 9) Amherst; and 10) MIT. In case you’re wondering, these are Forbes’s all-around rankings, based, it says, in this “new age of return-on-investment education,” on “outcomes.” Factors taken into account include low student debt, student satisfaction, and four-year graduation rate.

Other local schools in the top 100: Read more »

Local Author Pens Debut Novel About Post-Graduation Blues

jenni fink sentenced to lifeMoorestown native Jenni Fink’s debut novel, Sentenced to Life, reaches out to the millennial generation and assures us we’re doing just fine. “I tried to think about what real life is right now and just put it into words so people can relate to it,” Fink explains. College graduates are all too familiar with the pressure of finding a job, getting married and having kids, but Fink seeks to calm these universal anxieties in her novel.

Sentenced to Life is a story of a young woman who gets a brutal wake-up call after receiving her diploma and moving back home. The book addresses relatable issues like changing family dynamics, rekindling past relationships and facing an uncertain future.

In anticipation of her book reading this weekend at James Oliver Gallery, I spoke to Fink—a graduate of the University of Arizona—about life after college and society’s unrealistic expectations of post-graduates.

Read more »

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