Today in academia: the UC system brings in money, old dictionary words disappear, college drinking is unstoppable, and, yes, dropouts are a financial drag.

  • The burden of paying for a University of California school is shifting from taxpayers to families. Good news for a cash-crunched state: for the first time ever, the UC system is taking in more money in tuition payment than it receives from state funding, reported The Los Angeles Times. Bad news for people who'd like to go to these schools: one way they've been able to do this is to raise tuition on people from out of state, "who pay significantly more than California residents." [The Los Angeles Times via Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • Researchers' attempts to get partying undergrads to drink less don't work. That about sums up a new USA Today report, which details a few sets of researchers as they try everything to deter students from excessive drinking. Somehow, though, their pleas fall on deaf ears. Witness: "Researchers even tried using Breathalyzers at parties and bars to show students their blood alcohol content. 'It actually encouraged them to drink more,' says [E. Scott] Geller, whose research team presented findings earlier this month at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C." [USA Today]
  • New stay-in-school rallying cry: for the economy!  Speaking of ineffective ways to tell undergraduates something, a new study finds that college dropouts are bad for the economy. They've cost it $4.5 billion in lost revenue because of their lost income that they could've had if they (just stopped drinking and) graduated, say the American Institutes for Research. "Taxpayers have paid billions of dollars in subsidies to support these students as they pursue degrees they will never earn, and as a nation, we incur billions in lost earnings and lost income taxes each year," said Mark Schneider, vice president of AIR to Daily Finance. [AOL's Daily Finance]
  • Old words that nobody uses are disappearing.  We've never heard of the words "wittol," "drysalter," "cyclogiro," or "stauroscope." But that's the point. The Telegraph and The Guardian report on a group of dictionary experts who have compiled an "endangered words list" of terms that have disappeared this year. If their plan is to secretly bring the endangered words back into use by publicizing them in media outlets, we tip our hats at the tactic. [The Telegraph, The Guardian]
  • College librarians would like to help students, but no one asks. This is one sadly predictable finding of a study published by a group of Illinois universities who interviewed students and used anthropologists to collect data. But it's not all the students' fault, reports Inside Higher Ed: "Librarians tend to overestimate the research skills of some of their students, which can result in interactions that leave students feeling intimidated and alienated." [Inside Higher Ed]