Virginia Tech Broke Law in Response to Deadly Shootings
Three years after the deadly rampage that killed 32* students and faculty at Virginia Tech, the U.S. Department of Education has issued a report asserting that the university broke the law when it failed to notify students and faculty of the gunman until a full two hours after the initial shootings. The violation of the Clery Act, which requires that universities notify students and faculty of on-campus threats, resulted in students and faculty proceeding to move about the campus unaware of the gunman even after the first students were shot and killed. Virginia Tech could face sanctions including the loss of the $98 million in student financial aid it receives from the government as well as a number of fines. [Boston Globe]
Amidst the recent scrutiny of the for-profit college industry comes another controversy highlighting less-than-honest enrollment practices. In 2008 Congress passed a bill that pays for military veterans to attend college free of cost. Since the law was passed, only about 9 percent of veterans who have attended college through the program have attended for-profit schools. In contrast, over 36 percent of the tuition payments through the program have gone to the for-profit industry. Industry insiders report that for-profit schools have been eager to enroll veterans regardless of their abilities. “There is such pressure to simply enroll more vets—we knew that most of them would drop out after the first session,” says former admissions adviser Jason Deatherage, who was fired for not meeting his quota of military veterans. “Instead of helping people, too often I felt like we were almost tricking them.” [New York Times]
Students with divorced parents pay up to twice as much of their own college costs as students whose parents are still together. According to research published this week by the Journal of Family Issues, children with married parents cover about 23 percent of their costs on average while the children of divorced parents cover 47percent on average. The researchers say that these findings demonstrate just one more way in which divorce is detrimental to children, as students who are responsible for bearing a large percentage of their costs are much less likely to complete their college educations. [Inside Higher Ed]
A disturbing and growing gap has emerged between the graduation rates of white and black football players at universities nationwide. While white student football players graduated at a rate of 80% last year, black student football players graduated at a rate of only 60%. The principal author of the study, Dr. Richard Lapchick, blames educational disparities that occur early in a black student’s life for the lower graduation rates. “I think that the long-term solution is not going to take place on college campuses,” said Lapchick. “It’s going to take place in K-12 education.” [Diverse Education]
* This post originally said the number of people who lost their lives in the Virginia Tech massacre was 30. We regret the error.
Jeff Dugas was the online communications intern at Campus Progress in Fall of 2010. He is currently completing his undergraduate education at George Washington University.
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