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Taking child education to the next level April 19, 2007

Posted by Janine in Education, innovation.

Ok, so I was talking with my dad recently, and he was telling me about all the new toys that my 7 year old brother is playing with nowadays.  Most were pretty basic toys for someone his age, but one thing that caught my attention was a game called “Webkinz.”


I do not know if any of you have heard of this, but kids go online and “adopt” / pay for an animated stuffed animal. Then they are given a room for this animal, name it, etc.  Well the interesting thing about this game is that then you are given webkinz dollars.  You start out with 2,000, then depending on how well you care for your animal, and also depending on how well you do on the trivia games you can play on the site, then the kids are awarded more money.  They then use this money to buy more food, clothes, furniture, more animals to add to the family!  At the bottom of the screen, the kids can see how happy their animal is!!

 My little brother is obsessed with this game.  He heard about it from all his friends, and apparently, my father was saying, it is becoming a household name in homes with children.

Isn’t is quite amazing what “toys” have become?  I remember only having Barbies, and other such dolls and board games.  Now, everything is interactive.  It is all done on the computer.  This online game is an example of where our future is going.  It is almost scary to imagine what our kids will be playing with someday!


College Loan Programs Fleecing You (students) and Me (taxpayer) April 14, 2007

Posted by Jordi in Business-Society Issues, Education, Government.

Lenders Sought Edge Against U.S. in Student Loans – New York Times
President Bush’s budget reports that in 2006 for every $100 lent by private lenders, the cost to the government of subsidies, defaults and other items was $13.81, while the same amount lent through the direct loan program cost the government $3.85. The battle for dominance in the loan market has escalated as tuitions have soared and students have borrowed more

Lovely. The formula: corruption + free market ideology=fleecing of public.

Its in full swing. I want to find out if Bucknell participates in the direct loan program which allows the Federal Government to make direct loans to students. The article reports that some schools withdrew under pressure from private banks looking to force more loans their way.

Financial Aid April 1, 2007

Posted by wilson7 in Business-Society Issues, Education.

Room & board and tuition continue to rise at all schools every year. This is making it extremely difficult for many families that are not financially stable to send their children to some of the elite institution in the country. However, several of the top institutions in the country are making it easier for lower income families to send their children to school. Some of the most highly ranked schools in the United States will eliminate student loans from its financial aid packages. Instead, it will provide all its student aid in the form of grants and work study programs. Harvard does not ask families with incomes under $60,000 to contribute anything toward their child’s education, and reduces the expected family contribution (EFC) for families making $60,000 to $80,000. This will allow several qualified students who would normally not be able to afford to go to school, to attend these institutions. Several individuals graduate from college with thousands of dollars in debt, do you think this is a solution for low income families?

Bucknell University

2006-07 tuition: $36,002

Increase from last year: 9.8%  Avg 2006-07 in-state tuition,
4-year public school: $5,836Avg 2006-07 out-of-state tuition,
4-year public school: $15,783Avg 2006-07 tuition,
4-year private school: $22,218 

 What do you think about what some of these institution are doing? Do you think that Bucknell should implement this financial aid package? If so then how many of these scholarships should they give out a year?


Colleges Cutting Tuition April 1, 2007

Posted by Brian Mulligan in Education, Social Network Analysis.

Tuition for college students and their families maybe getting a little more affordable. It actually applies to directly to Bucknell since it was ranked in the top ten most expensive colleges in the US by The Chronicle of Higher Education and The College Board.

The article was titled “Top colleges get more affordable”

The schools are looking for the best students, but some of the best students are being lured away by larger school with sweet financial packages. Schools are trying to find ways to make a top college education possible for students from lower to middle class incomes.

“The size of the package is irrelevant. What matters is how much do you have to pay and how much do you have to borrow.”

They now have specialists that deal with creating feasible packages to students that can’t afford to attend schools like Bucknell. They create the right mix of family contributions, financial aid and students loans. They make it possible for the students to attend the upper tier university.

For example, Davidson College in North Carolina is changing around its financial aid package. Instead of student loans, the university will provide work study progams and grants. This will allow the students to leave college with less debt.

I think that this a great decision, but will be challenge for Bucknell because of the size of our endowment. Also, Bucknell needs to remain compeitive with the other Patriot League school and other top liberal arts colleges. This may be a direct result of competition for students as a resource. They’re trying to control the resource by providing more benefit.

Do you think that this is a good idea for Bucknell? How will it affect how the university uses it’s money and the students that it attracts?