This Week in College News: The Proliferation of Sexting and Kindle Textbook Rentals
By Sam Coren
Controversy hits the college news scene this week. A new study suggests that "sexting" among college students may now be the norm. Test-optional colleges get slammed for buying lists of high scoring SAT students, while a recent high school glad sparks a fire about racial discrimination in high school course selection in Arkansas. On the lighter side of things, Amazon is bringing students another way to save boatloads of money on textbooks.
Want the details? Get the scoop on this edition of This Week in College News:
A new study from the University of Rhode Island has found that 78% of college students have received sexually suggestive messages. Over half (56%) of the students surveyed indicated that they have received sexually suggestive images. Even though the most students engaged in these activities, known as "sexting", sent these messages to someone they were in a relationship with, 17% of those surveyed admitted to forwarding the messages to at least one other person. One of the researchers, Tiffani Kisler warns, "Once they click that 'send' button, they don't know where else a message will wind up."
When most students find out they've earned the valedictorian title in their graduating class they're typically pleased as punch. Not so much for one recent Arkansas high school grad. Kymberly Wimberly, a member McGehee Secondary School's 2011 graduating class, submitted a complaint to the U.S. District Court for Arkansas' Eastern District after the school gave her co-valedictorian status with a white student with a lower GPA.
Wimberly believes that the school has a history of limiting black students' access to challenging classes. She is seeking punitive damages of $75,000 and official recognition that she is the only valedictorian of her class.
Last week Boomblerg bursted the bubble of legions of anti-standardized testing advocates by revealing that several SAT-optional colleges were buying the names of top-scoring SAT takers. Pitzer College, a small liberal arts college in Claremont, Ca., was one of the schools called out in the report.
In a response on the Huffington Post, Pitzer's president, Laura Skandera Trombley, defended the school's actions:
"Now this issue of purchasing mailing lists is in my view really a straw dog. I don't know about you, but when I throw a party I like to send invitations to the guests. This is what our admission office does in purchasing lists. We run tours 364 days out of the year, present at college fairs, visit high schools and yes, we try to get the names of as many college-bound students as we possibly can. "
Hate spending tons of money on textbooks every semester? Amazon is now offering a textbook rentals program for Kindle readers and and devices with Kindle software. According to Amazon, students can save up to 80% of the original price for their textbooks. Rental periods are availible between 30 and 360 days. Don't worry about missing being able to take notes right in the book - notes and annotations can be stored by Amazon, even after the rental period is over when the book is re-rented or bought.