Today's Academia: a college slashes tuition, the debt load gets larger, the places where students borrow information, and the gift of an extra day to finish early decision applications.

  • The places where students get information for essays. Turnitin, the web tool that your professor uses to check the essay you cobbled together too quickly, has crunched all the numbers for the massive amount of data it collects to give this infographic snapshot of which sources students get information from. And social-sites appear quite popular. Here are the top five sites for higher education: 1) Wikipedia, 2) Yahoo! Answers, 3) Slideshare 4) Answers.com 5) OPPpapers.com. Not the most terribly reliable seeming places though. (One thing to note, as The Washington Post's Daniel de Vise does, these sources aren't places that students plagiarized from, just where they drew information from--both attributed and non-attributed it seems.) [TurnitinThe Washington Post]
  • College gets some good press after cutting its tuition.  Perhaps because it's a headline you don't see often, the University of Charleston is getting some attention for announcing that it will be giving a 22 percent discount to incoming freshman off their $25,000 tuition. Now (say the sentence infomercial-style), "the university is guaranteeing that no undergraduate student will pay more than $19,500 for tuition next year." That's good news, though the move isn't purely a magnanimous gesture: "UC's move comes as the school is reeling from an unprecedented drop in student enrollment this year. Seventy-five fewer students than expected began classes in the fall semester, which cost UC about 3 percent of its revenue and could put several school projects on hold," noted The Charleston Gazette. [Huffington Post College, The Charleston Gazette]
  • Speaking of $25,000 tuition, that's almost what plenty of students owe in debt. "Students who graduated from college in 2010 with student loans owed an average of $25,250, up 5 percent from the previous year," according to a report from The Project On Student Debt, as relayed by The New York Times. The non-profit's website carries a state-by-state breakdown of the United States of student debt--which you can peruse  to see the average debt for students nationwide. Short version: "Student debt goes up and it doesn’t ever go down," said one publisher of college advice websites to the newspaper. [The New York Times]
  • Is there anything better than discovering that you get extra time to finish your work? Especially for college applications, that gift of a few extra--unexpected--days to once again proofread your essay is priceless. "Several Massachusetts colleges and universities are among dozens nationwide that extended their early decision deadlines because of the October snowstorm in the Northeast. Widespread power outages made it impossible for students to email their applications by the Tuesday deadline," the Associated Press reported. The New York Times Choice blog has a list of some of the schools, and noted that the extensions were generally for three days. Still, we'd guess that the moment this news was confirmed, plenty of students stopped working and put off touching up the application until the last possible moment. Looks like the deadline's quickly approaching again though. [Associated Press]