College Finance. Photo: Josh McKible via Flickr.

Rising prices on the poorest

In January 2014 nearly a hundred college presidents gathered at the White House for a summit on the rising cost of college. But data show that those same institutions have been raising their prices fastest for the poorest students than for wealthier ones. This week on the podcast, we talk to a reporter who has been following the rising college cost burden on poor families.
Abigail Seldin, founder of College Abacus. Photo:  ECMC.

How Much Will College Cost My Family?

In 2011 the federal government required colleges and universities to publish “net price calculators” on their web sites. These tools are supposed to help families figure out which colleges they can afford. The calculators take into account family income, number of kids in college, state of residency, and other factors. But they’re often hard to use and time-consuming. Our guest this week has made this process simpler and more accessible.
Robots do a lot of the work in advanced manufacturing plants like this Toyota factory in Kentucky. But there are still thousands of people directly involved in the production process. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Bridging the “Middle Skills” Gap

There’s a paradox in today’s job market: even though there are millions of people looking for work, employers say they can’t find enough qualified workers. That’s due to an abundance of what economists call “middle skills” jobs – jobs that require specialized training beyond high school, but not a four-year college degree.
AMT student Dalton Ballard in his motor controls class at the Advanced Manufacturing Center in Georgetown, Kentucky. AMT students are being trained to fix and maintain the robots and machines that are essential in modern factories. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Commentary: Turning the tables on the vocational ed debate

I’m not arguing that all education should be about acquiring job skills ... I’m saying that good vocational high schools have figured out how to bring college prep into their curriculum. And it’s time that traditional academic high schools brought more vocational education into theirs.
Kenan Memorial Stadium at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 
Photo: William Yeung via Flickr

Academic Fraud and College Athletics

Last month the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released a report that showed evidence of nearly two decades of academic fraud perpetuated by the school’s Afro-American Studies Department. An investigation found certain professors and administrators had an unwritten policy of “propping up” student athletes. This week on the podcast, we look at academic fraud at colleges with high-stakes sports programs.
Photo: Tim Ellis via Flickr.

The Utility of a PhD

Humanities professors at colleges and universities are re-thinking what it means to offer a PhD. The old model is proving unsustainable. It takes an average nine years to get a doctorate, but less than 60 percent of PhDs are finding tenure-track teaching jobs. This week, we look at a new report recommending academics view doctoral programs in a new light.
Roosevelt Envelopes001

Envelopes and cards sent to the Roosevelt White House

When people wrote to Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt they often added a final thought or demand on the outside of the envelope. Others sent pre-printed cards supporting or opposing a given policy.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. (Photo: March of Dimes)

The Roosevelts as a political team

Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt were not the first White House couple to act as political partners, but they were the first to do so in such a public fashion.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt delivers an speech at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933. (Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library)

Letters to (and from) Eleanor Roosevelt

In her newspaper column and on the air, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invited the American people to write to her. In 1933 she received some 300,000 letters and cards. She often worked late into the night reading her correspondence.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt received an average of 8,000 letters, cards and telegrams daily. (Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library)

Letters to Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Americans responded to FDR's radio talks with an unprecedented tide of mail. A Fireside Chat could generate some 450,000 letters, cards and telegrams. FDR's predecessor in the White House, Herbert Hoover, had received an average of 800 letters a day; FDR got more than 8,000.