Today in academia: Penn State reports more applicants this year, M.B.A's are forgoing non-profit work, ROTC is getting comfortable at Yale, and some schools that don't leave students with as much debt.

  • The sex abuse scandal hasn't dented applications to Penn State.  "All told, nearly 28,000 students have applied to be undergraduates next year on the University Park campus, compared to 27,370 who had done so last year at this time," the The New York Times wrote, citing numbers from the admissions director. Which seems like a sign that the school is weathering the massive amount of negative attention after the Jerry Sandusky allegations arrived. Overall, according to Reuters, applications are up 4 percent from last year. The same can't be said for the early application numbers of the school that gets confused with Penn State, U Penn. It saw a slight decline in early admissions applicants, but that may have reportedly had to do with Harvard and Yale starting up early admits again this year. [The New York Times Choice blog, Reuters]
  • ROTC Instructor at Yale: 'I feel like the carpet has been rolled out for us.'  The university ended a decades-long absence of the ROTC on campus earlier this year, and--in anticipation for the program officially returning in Fall 2012--the ROTC instructors are already fitting in well, the school's newspaper reports.  Part of the other integration that will come with the program's return is that the school decided "to recognize ROTC officers as professors [so that it] will help instructors be perceived as part of academic life rather than as military ambassadors to campus."  Lt. Molly Crabbe, a Naval instructor, put it this way: “No one really understands our [military] titles, so it gives us an opportunity not to be seen as outsiders." Nope, that will be left to the banking and consulting industry recruiters.  [Yale Daily News]
  • Why M.B.A.'s forgo non-profit jobs but take a 'social-responsibility' position at a Fortune 500 company. It pays more. That's the simple answer in a Wall Street Journal's latest take on the subject, which notes that the lines are "blurring" between industries (meaning, it seems, there's more non-profit-like positions opening at for profit places). Which makes sense. If you can have a position that you feel like is doing some actual good at a big company that pays more, why not take it? Especially since business school was probably pricey. Unfortunately, it has led to  "fewer than 5% of graduates from many top business schools tak[ing] jobs in nonprofit organizations right out of school, with some institutions placing just 1% or 2% in the field." [The Wall Street Journal]
  • The schools that are somewhat avoiding the student loan debt problem.  Drawing on several different sources that looked at which colleges leave students with less than $20,000 in debt after graduation, The Washington Post's Daniel De Vise created his own list of pricey institutions that don't leave students with (relatively) as much debt. And many of them are familiar Ivy League names along with places like Howard University, which "has surprisingly low tuition (around $10,000), and its average graduate has $9,863 in loan debt." While it seems odd at first glance that it's sometimes the priciest schools (like, Williams College with $55,000 yearly tuition) that make the list, as De Vise points out, many of them have great financial aid services to students and also, just maybe, tend have more advantaged student applicants in the first place. [The Washington Post]