Notes in the Margins: Math tests, early applications and the G.I. Bill

WSU math standards confound students Two years after Mishelle Kennedy finished her classes at Wayne State University, she still can't get her degree. The Royal Oak Township resident is being held up because she can't pass a math test — a requirement that administrators say is at the level of high school math. While 1,970 students graduated last weekend from WSU, an estimated 1,500 others couldn't because they are in the same bind as Kennedy. (Detroit News Online)

Banning Congressional Earmarks Would Cost Colleges Billions Colleges stand to lose billions of dollars for research, facilities, and other purposes if Congressional leaders hold firm in their pledge to ban earmarks, the spending that individual members direct to their home states and favorite projects outside of the competitive processes. (

Senate OKs GI Bill improvements In an unexpected drive toward the goal line, the Senate approved a long-delayed package of improvements in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, raising the possibility this legislation, once thought dead, would become law by the end of the year. (

For-profit colleges face challenges Next year is likely to be another tough one for-profit college operators as they cope with declining federal student aid, lower enrollment and proposed regulations that may force them to cut tuition. (

Howard in flux: An HBCU reinvents itself Howard will still turn out many of the nation's African American doctors and dentists, psychologists and engineers. But the university is considering cutting its undergraduate programs in philosophy, anthropology, the classics and even African studies - a specialty with symbolic importance to many in the Howard community. The school is keeping African American studies. (The Washington Post)

Early Applications Surge at MIT, Penn as Economy Steers Choices Applications for early admission to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University and Dartmouth College rose to the highest on record as students said name-brand colleges give graduates an edge in job searches. (

True Crime: Hatchet-Wielding Santa at Georgia Tech Two students at the Georgia Institute of Technology at 4 a.m. on Saturday heard chopping coming from the backyard of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house. They found a young and apparently drunken white male wearing a red Santa hat and chopping a tree with a hatchet. When they confronted the man, he swung the tool at one of the students but missed. (

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