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Average student loan debt increasing, report says

Average student loan debt increased 5 percent between the classes of 2010 and 2011, according to an annual report released Oct. 18 by the Institute for College Access and Success. The average amount of debt for 2011 college graduates is now $26,600 compared to $25,250 for 2010 graduates.

According to the report, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates dropped 0.3 percent to 8.8 percent in 2011. The rate is significantly lower than the 19.1 percent unemployment rate for high school graduates without a college degree.

The report included only data from public and private nonprofit four-year colleges and universities, but noted that students at for-profit four-year colleges were more likely to take on more debt than their peers at public and private nonprofit schools.


Yale considers grade deflation policy

Yale has formed an ad hoc committee to investigate current grading policies, the Daily Princetonian reported Friday. In the process of gathering data, the committee will also analyze Princeton's grade deflation policy, enacted in 2004.

According to the article, it is unlikely the committee will suggest implementing a formal deflation policy for grades, though the Yale Daily News reported that the GPA floor for summa cum laude status at Yale has reached an all-time high in recent years.

Grade inflation has been debated at other Ivy League schools, including Dartmouth and Penn. The current grading policy at Princeton limits A's to the top 35 percent of students in a class. 


University of California seeks increased donations as public funding dips

The University of California has launched a new fundraising campaign to draw in private donations as public funding dwindles, the Daily Californian reported. The campaign, called "Onward California," primarily seeks to connect state residents with their university system, but also focuses on building support, both financial and otherwise.

The University of California has seen major budget cuts in recent years, with a $1.5 billion, or 13.5 percent, decrease in public support last year. At the University of California at Berkeley, the system's oldest campus, state funding currently represents only 11 percent of its budget. 

The new campaign is being launched as Californians consider even more significant cuts to the system under Proposition 30, which would raise income and sales taxes and add money to the fund for K-12 and higher education if passed. But if the proposition fails, the University of California would lose an additional $250 million in already scheduled cuts.


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