Notes in the Margins: Online dropouts, Tommie seats and Ivy League mafia

25 plan to retire early at St. Cloud State | St. Cloud Times St. Cloud State University says 25 faculty members have accepted early retirement offers as part of the university’s plan to close a budget gap. Layoffs are still possible. (St. Cloud Times)

Academic Forgiveness Programs Help Eliminate Troublesome GPAs Some colleges and universities, including Rutgers University and Penn State University, are reaching out to former students who left school before completing a degree. Offering academic forgiveness programs, the schools allow students to erase their previous GPA and start over with a clean slate (Huffington Post)

New football seats to be used by university, not for students The “veranda seats” are a new addition that came with the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, and the seats are creating a buzz around campus because of their prime location. (

Ivy League Football `Mafia' Gives Wall Street a Talent Pipeline Ivy League athletes often receive internships from executives involved with their school’s sports programs, while others use alumni for references or to gain insights into a company’s needs. (

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Dream Act Dies In Senate Democrats' dreams of passing an immigration bill before the midterm elections died Tuesday, when Senate Republicans blocked a measure that could have carried legislation benefiting undocumented college students. (Huffington Post)

Froma Harrop: Why Corvettes cost less than college American universities now rake in $40 billion a year more than they did 30 years ago. And most of that money isn't going for academics, according to Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus in their book, Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids and What We Can Do About It. (Dallas Morning News)

Getting into College and Paying for it As my daughter continues to type away late into the night, I’m trying to understand some of the application logistics for the schools on her list. (

Details of assaults at fraternity emerge The University of Minnesota Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life will investigate the events from that weekend to determine what possible consequences for the DKE fraternity chapter might be. The first step in that investigation is to establish whether the student conduct code was broken. (

Proximity to cafeteria, gym affects freshman weight gain, study says A recent Marquette University study found that females living in dorms connected to dining halls gained nearly 2 pounds more and exercised 1.43 times less than those who did not live in connected dorms. Males living in dorms connected to dining halls ate 3.26 meals per day compared to the average 3.04 meals per day, and males in dorms connected to dining halls also ate 2.79 snacks per day compared to the average 2.41 snacks per day. (

Some health care reform provisions began Thursday The provisions, included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, allow people to remain on their parent’s health insurance plan up to the age of 26 and prevent insurance companies from denying coverage for children younger than 19 because of pre-existing medical conditions. (

Hit-and-run turns fatal for U researcher Ethan Johnson, a research associate in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, died early Tuesday. He was 37. Johnson died after the car he was in was struck in a hit-and-run in south Minneapolis at the intersection of 18th Avenue South and 35th Street East, according to police. (

Thinking about grad school? Some, like William Pannapacker, an English professor at Hope College in Michigan, are cynical and pessimistic, claiming in a Chronicle of Higher Education article that students considering graduate school typically “received high grades and a lot of praise from their professors, and they are not finding similar encouragement outside of an academic environment,” meaning they “want to return to a context in which they feel validated.” (

Preventing Online Dropouts: Does Anything Work? Regardless of what professors do to engage online students, they can’t seem to prevent them from dropping out, a new study suggests. Other experts disagree. (

Where is Class of 2000 now? As ABC launches the show 'My Generation,' USA TODAY takes a look at our own Class of 2000: Now age 28 is life what they planned? (USA Today)