A Novel Idea- Book Club Poll
A Novel Idea- book club session is coming back to MASFAA 2023 and this year we want MASFAA to help select the book.!
Cast your vote now, the winning book will be announced in March, so you will have plenty of time to start reading.
The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges–and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates- In this explosive and prescient book, based on three years of investigative reporting, Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Golden shatters the myth of an American meritocracy. Naming names, along with grades and test scores, Golden lays bare a corrupt system in which middle-class and working-class whites and Asian Americans are routinely passed over in favor of wealthy white students with lesser credentials—children of alumni, big donors, and celebrities. He reveals how a family donation got Jared Kushner into Harvard, and how colleges comply with Title IX by giving scholarships to rich women in “patrician sports” like horseback riding and crew.
With a riveting new chapter on Operation Varsity Blues, based on original reporting, The Price of Admission is a must-read—not only for parents and students with a personal stake in college admissions but also for those disturbed by the growing divide between ordinary and privileged Americans.
The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future – In The Great Upheaval, Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt examine higher and postsecondary education to see how it has changed to become what it is today—and how it might be refitted for an uncertain future. Taking a unique historical, cross-industry perspective, Levine and Van Pelt perform a 360-degree survey of American higher education. Combining historical, trend, and comparative analysis of other business sectors, they ask
- how much will colleges and universities change, what will change, and how will these changes occur?
- will institutions of higher learning be able to adapt to the challenges they face, or will they be disrupted by them?
- will the industrial model of higher education be repaired or replaced?
- why is higher education more important than ever?
The book is neither an attempt to advocate for a particular future direction nor a warning about that future. Rather, it looks objectively at the contexts in which higher education has operated—and will continue to operate. It also seeks to identify likely developments that will aid those involved in steering higher education forward, as well as the many millions of Americans who have a stake in its future.
Concluding with a detailed agenda for action, The Great Upheaval is aimed at policy makers, college administrators, faculty, trustees, and students, as well as general readers and people who work for nonprofits facing the same big changes.
A Problem of Fit: How the Complexity of College Pricing Hurts Students—and Universities- How much does it cost to attend college in the United States today? The answer is more complex than many realize. College websites advertise a sticker price, but uncovering the actual price—the one after incorporating financial aid—can be difficult for students and families. This inherent uncertainty leads some students to forgo applying to colleges that would be the best fit for them, or even not attend college at all. The result is that millions of promising young people may lose out on one of society’s greatest opportunities for social mobility. Colleges suffer too, losing prospective students and seeing lower enrollments and less socioeconomic diversity. If markets require prices to function well, then the American higher-education system—rife as it is with ambiguity in its pricing—amounts to a market failure.
In A Problem of Fit, economist Phillip B. Levine explains why institutions charge the prices they do and discusses the role of financial aid systems in facilitating—and discouraging—access to college. Affordability issues are real, but price transparency is also part of the problem. As Levine makes clear, our conversations around affordability and free tuition miss a larger truth: that the opacity of our current college-financing systems is a primary driver of inequities in education and society. In a clear-eyed assessment of educational access and aid in a post-COVID-19 economy, A Problem of Fit offers a trenchant new argument for educational reforms that are well within reach.
The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be- For The Real World of College, Wendy Fischman and Howard Gardner analyzed in-depth interviews with more than 2,000 students, alumni, faculty, administrators, parents, trustees, and others, which were conducted at ten institutions ranging from highly selective liberal arts colleges to less-selective state schools. What they found challenged characterizations in the media: students are not preoccupied by political correctness, free speech, or even the cost of college. They are most concerned about their GPA and their resumes; they see jobs and earning potential as more important than learning. Many say they face mental health challenges, fear that they don’t belong, and feel a deep sense of alienation. Given this daily reality for students, has higher education lost its way? Fischman and Gardner contend that US universities and colleges must focus sharply on their core educational mission.
Fischman and Gardner, both recognized authorities on education and learning, argue that higher education in the United States has lost sight of its principal reason for existing: not vocational training, not the provision of campus amenities, but to increase what Fischman and Gardner call “higher education capital”—to help students think well and broadly, express themselves clearly, explore new areas, and be open to possible transformations. Fischman and Gardner offer cogent recommendations for how every college can become a community of learners who are open to change as thinkers, citizens, and human beings.
Becoming Great Universities: Small Steps for Sustained Excellence- This incisive book, written in a friendly and engaging style, draws on conversations with presidents, deans, and staff at hundreds of campuses across the country as well as scores of in-depth interviews with students and faculty. Providing suggestions that all members of a campus community can implement, Richard Light and Allison Jegla cover topics such as how to build a culture of innovation on campus, how to improve learning outcomes through experimentation, how to help students from under-resourced high schools succeed in college, and how to attract students from rural areas who may not be considering colleges far from their communities. They offer concrete ways to facilitate constructive interactions among students from different backgrounds, create opportunities for lifelong learning and engagement, and inspire students to think globally. And most of the ideas presented in this book can be implemented at little to no cost.
Featuring a wealth of evidence-based examples, Becoming Great Universities offers actionable suggestions for everyone to have a positive impact on college life regardless of whether their campus is urban or rural, private or public, large or small, wealthy or not.