Today in academia: employers aren't happy, free tuition for life, where the professors party, Goldman Sachs gets avoided, and lots of incidents of SAT irregularities.

  • What a DEAL: Win to stay in college for the rest of your life. Would you really want a lifetime of free tuition? Four (or five or six) years, sure, but, this? In the vein of universities sounding like infomercials in their marketing campaigns, a British college, Cardiff University, is offering "free tuition for life" for one lucky winner who succeeds in a very vaguely stated "series of tough challenges, which will increase in difficulty." Well, that's one way of sidestepping crippling student loan debt and struggling to find a job. Just remain a student forever, for free. Apply (if you are a UK or EU resident) to stay in school for a lifetime and get all the important and/or worthless degrees you want to collect if you win. [Times Higher Education via HuffPost College Twitter]
  • Occupy's influence still a thorn for banks recruiting on campus. Ivy Leaguers, who at one time were eagerly snapped up by all those banking and consulting industry recruiters flocking to campuses, are more reluctant to be publicly wooed by The Man. Maybe it's something about all those Occupy Wall Street protests? The latest example of a bank having second thoughts about a campus event was Goldman Sachs, which, according to The Brown Daily Herald, just canceled an information session with students "due to attendance." As one Occupy-sympathetic students said to the student newspaper, the idea that "attendance" would be an issue for cancellation would've been unlikely just a year ago. [The Brown Daily Herald]
  • The College Board does a lot of investigating into student SAT cheating. Understandably, since the news broke that college students were getting away with charging Long Island high schoolers lots of money ($3500+) for taking their tests for them, the College Board has been reassuring everyone that it takes its test security seriously. In a chat with The Times Choice blog, the "SAT's Top Cop" explains just how much investigating they do of incidents big and small: "During the 2010-11 academic year, the office conducted about 9,600 investigations of SAT testing irregularities, including fire alarms going off during testing and reports of test taker impersonation." [The New York Times Choice blog]
  • Your would-be employer doesn't care about your liberal arts degree. You've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: colleges (and high schools) aren't doing a good job training students in skills that are "real world applicable." So it's entirely unsurprising that a survey of "1,000 employers in various industries" found that  "More than half of employers said finding qualified applicants is difficult, and just under half thought students should receive specific workplace training rather than a more broad-based education." Makes sense. Except there's a reason why more students avoid some technical majors: they're hard. And you have to study more to get those degrees. [Chronicle of Higher Education]
  • If you've ever wondered where academics party: "Conferences are without a doubt the most debauched of academic events. When I ask people in other disciplines about their fields' conferences, it is as if a sudden reversion takes places, and in fraternity-like manner they (virtually inevitably) tell me how hard-drinking and swell their discipline is." And now you know. [Inside Higher Ed]