Economy

College Degree Still Considered Good Return On Investment Despite Climbing Costs

It’s a familiar refrain among college students and their parents: The cost may be crushing, but the alternative is even worse.

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Rubber Soul: Leading Polymer Science Universities

Think about everyday gizmos like cell phones, iPods, Kindles, and Cuisinarts. We take items of convenience for granted, yet without polymer science discovery and product development research, these consumer devices would not exist.

For over a century, polymer science faculty and graduate students have explored applications of a wide range of polymer materials, including nylon, neoprene, PVC, silicone, Kevlar, and even old-fashioned natural rubber. So, we offer a guided tour of today’s leading polymer university programs.

Degree Matters: Promoting the Payoff

As students returned to campus this year, administrators had the chance to motivate them to succeed in school with findings of the most recent study on how college degrees are critical to economic opportunity. Conducted by The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, with support from the Lumina Foundation, the study found that those with a bachelor's degree now make 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma, up from 75 percent in 1999.

Counting Chickens Before They Hatch

As another school Semester begins, administrators will be confronted with a segment of their student population that does not go on to graduate. Attrition is nothing new, of course. It happens every year, as students begin their college careers in earnest, but find, for one reason or another, that they can't continue. Perhaps the student has financial difficulties or is simply not prepared academically or emotionally for the rigors of college.

Going Green: Small Steps, Big Impact

A University Business Web Seminar Digest (Originally presented April 7, 2011)

The green movement focuses on four factors: clean energy, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly production, and the conservation and reduction of waste materials. Information technology offices at institutions can exercise great control in energy efficiency benefitting not only the institution, but the surrounding community as well.

Karli Green, Senior Product Manager, Campus Management:

"Pilot programs at many institutions show that you can save money and the environment at the same time.

A more hands-on approach to tuition payment plans

Nelnet combines technology and personalized support for its payment solutions

When it comes to collecting tuition, it usually doesn't pay to have your university's payment solution on autopilot.

There are many software tools available for scheduling and processing tuition payments. But what happens if a student adds a class unexpectedly, or is assessed additional or unexpected fees? Many software solutions can't adjust on the fly and school officials are the ones who end up spending extra time untangling the mess.

Fast refunds for college students, with no overdraft fees

Nelnet is offering preloaded debit cards as an option for university tuition refunds
 

Tuition refunds require intense administrative attention at many colleges and universities. If a student receives financial aid after tuition has been paid, or if he or she drops a course early in the term, schools are obligated by federal law to issue refunds within 14 days.

As Budgets Shrink, Voluntary Benefits Grow

Optional benefits helping to compensate for rising employee contributions

When listening to employees talk about their jobs, school officials may hear questions, concerns, and even fears about health care insurance. How much more will I have to contribute this year for premiums? Can I afford it? Will my coverage shrink? While the spotlight is on health care, not much is being said about trends regarding employee voluntary benefits, such as vision, supplemental life insurance, and long-term disability.

A flexible plan that makes tuition payments easier to manage

At Kutztown University, Sallie Mae's tuition payment plan offers an alternative to large tuition payments

Not so long ago, Kutztown University found itself struggling to work out flexible tuition payment arrangements for strapped parents.

"It became so cumbersome that it was taking a staff member and a half just to monitor payment plans here," said Wendy Pursell, bursar of the Kutztown, Pa., school.

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