The CP Blog

The New SAT

By Stephen Burleigh

In last month’s IECA Insights magazine, Jed Applerouth, founder of Applerouth Tutoring Services, wrote a straight forward assessment of the new SAT.  He says it will be “the hardest SAT we’ve ever seen and significantly harder than the ACT.”  The new SAT is designed to coordinate with the Common Core curriculum, and according to Applerouth, it “may intimidate certain students and drive them toward alternative assessments.”  One thing is for sure; it will require educators and students to rethink the test prep timeline.

You can read Jed Applerouth’s article here:

Advising Your Students About the New SAT


SCOTUS KO’s Race Sensitivity In College Admissions.  Quit yer Whinin’!

By Stephen Burleigh

On April 22nd the Supreme Court decided that race could not be used as a factor in college admission if the majority of the voters in a state decided to prohibit it.   In 1996 California voters passed Proposition 209 ending any considerations of race or ethnicity in public university admissions sending affirmative action to its grave.  The recent Supreme Court case (Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action) affirmed a similar Michigan law passed in 2006.   If voters in a state want to pass a law making affirmative action legal then the Supreme Court is presumably okay with it.   Slavery, Jim Crow, Redlining, recent attacks on voting rights targeted at racial minorities – none of that matters because as Chief Justice Roberts says, “things have changed dramatically” since the voting rights act was passed fifty years ago.  As he and the majority of the court see it, there’s no justification for racial sensitivity in college admissions.  Of course it’s okay to consider other factors such as children of faculty or staff, athletes, legacies, or in the case of California, whether an applicant is a non-tax paying out of state resident.   The University of California actually recruits non-resident applicants because they pay about double what a resident pays and therefore are admitted at much higher rates than the sons and daughters of California taxpayers.  Some might call that preferential treatment.

The Supreme Court tells us that if we want to add race to the admissions mix we just need to pass a law.   And in Judge Roberts’ Pollyanna world where racism and discrimination have gone the way of T-Rex not only is a race sensitive admissions policy unnecessary, it’s entirely possible to pass a law if we want it.  Is it?  Really?  What group has the resources to mount a pro-affirmative action initiative campaign in California or Michigan?  Riddle me this Judge, why is enrollment of minorities at public universities in Michigan down 25% since the 2006 law was passed?

I’ve had two encounters with parents this week that would suggest Judge Roberts’ proclamation that things have changed dramatically is, well…premature.   A few days ago I met with a very nice white family who live in a very nice beige house on a paved hill in a gated community.  Mom had called me to say that her son worked better with men and since I was the only male college counselor in the area she guessed she was “stuck” with me by default.   Actually, she’d seen a presentation by a male counselor that “blew her socks off”, but she couldn’t locate him and did I know a counselor named Denny.  I told her I don’t know Denny, but maybe she should continue looking for him.  She said she was bad at computers and was tired of searching for him, so I suggested we meet and perhaps I would make such a sterling impression she would forget all about Denny and would feel better about being stuck with me.

During our meeting I explained that I had done a six month practicum for my college counseling certificate at the fifth largest public high school in the country.  When I said the name of the high school mom perked up.  She had graduated from that very same school and was curious to know what it was like because the neighborhood had changed a lot since she grew up there.  The high school has over 5,000 students of which at least 80% are undocumented and about 90% qualify for the federal school lunch program.   “Undocumented?”  “Yes,” I replied, “mostly Latino.”   Her face immediately seized up, scrunched into a persimmon scowl as if she’d just tasted excrement.  She remained frozen in that doo-doo scrunch for several seconds until I finally said, “Why are you making that face?”  She rolled her eyes like I was crazy, and blurted out to her fourteen year old son, “you don’t have to deal with that at your school.”  She’s right, of course.  At his school there aren’t any poor undocumented Latino kids, just drugs and drunk drivers.

Then the day after the Supreme Court decision a man named White (I’m not kidding) called me to say that his daughter had applied to transfer from a local community college to UCLA and had been rejected.  She was a great student who’d done everything required of her and had a 3.3 gpa.  He was mad as hell and wanted an advocate: someone who would take on UCLA and get the decision reversed.  I explained that UCLA was now one of the most selective colleges in the country with an admit rate of about 18% and that unless there was new evidence not previously disclosed on her application an appeal would fail.  But his girl was losing out to blacks who have it easier in admissions at UCLA.  Blacks?  Easier?  At UCLA?  Let’s forget for the moment that eighteen years ago California passed Proposition 209 making affirmative action illegal at UCLA.   Of the 18% of applicants UCLA admitted, 26% were white and 4% were black.   But Mr. White believes that his daughter was discriminated against and that blacks received preferential treatment by UCLA admissions.   He referred to an article in the LA Times that reported that 27% of Hispanics had been admitted, the first time UCLA admitted more Hispanics than whites, which might be alarming except that Latinos comprise 39% of the California population, the largest ethnic group in our state.  Finally, he admitted that his daughter got a D in a crucial course but that it wasn’t her fault.

I realize that an anecdotal sampling of two proves nothing.  But my encounters with Ms. Persimmon Face and Mr. White suggest that there’s no reason to believe Prop 209 will ever be reversed at the ballot box.  In fact, last month a group of Asian American state legislators blocked a move in the California legislature to overturn part of Prop 209.

So if you’re Black or Latino, please understand that Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, Alito, and Breyer; and Mr. White and Ms. Persimmon Face, have nothing against you.  They all saw “12 Years a Slave”, and they agree that Cesar Chavez probably does deserve that street named after him in East L.A.   But come on now, get over it.  Get a firm grip on your bootstraps and pull hard, because that’s how the rest of us did it.  You don’t need race sensitive admission policies.  Judge Roberts said the country has moved beyond it.

Postscript: I never heard from Ms. Persimmon Face or Mr. White again.


Mi FAFSA Es Su FAFSA: When Something is Nothing

By Stephen Burleigh

The deadline for submitting the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to the UC and Cal State systems is March 2nd. Many private universities have similar deadlines. For those of you who are new to the financial aid maze, the FAFSA is the financial aid application used by colleges to determine eligibility for need based federal financial aid, i.e., grants, low interest loans, and work study. In California the FAFSA must be submitted for the student to be eligible for a Cal Grant and the new California Middle Class Scholarship. The Middle Class Scholarship is for undergraduate students from families with incomes up to $150,000 who attend a University of California or Cal State campus. Grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid. That’s free money for college, folks.

If you’re on the fence about applying because you believe your income is too high and/or you have too many assets here are a few general tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1 – Submit the FAFSA. It’s free. You cannot benefit if you stay on the sidelines. That’s not really a tip, but it’s good advice.

Tip #2 – Income and assets of the student are assessed at a higher rate in the FAFSA formula than parent income and assets. As a general rule save money in the parent’s name, unless it’s in 529K savings account with the student as the beneficiary and parent as custodian.

Tip #3 – When Something is Nothing – The FAFSA does not include home equity at all in its formula. Even if you have millions in equity in your primary residence the FAFSA will not count it. Do not include home equity when you answer the question about the net worth of your investments. Home equity = Zero on the FAFSA.

Tip #4 – When Something is Nothing – If you own or control more than 50% of a small business or farm that employs fewer than 100 employees do not include it when you answer the question about net worth of current business. Small business worth = Zero on the FAFSA.

Tip #5 – When Something is Nothing – Retirement assets are not used in the FAFSA need calculation. This includes 401K plans, pension funds, annuities, non-education IRAs, and Keogh Plans. Retirement assets = Zero on the FAFSA.

Tip #6 – If you are divorced or legally separated and your student does not live with you more than 50% of the time, then you do not report your income and assets on the FASFA. Only income and assets of the custodial parent are used in the FAFSA formula. This does not mean the parent with legal custody, or the parent who claims the child as a dependent on the tax return. Only the parent with whom the child lived more than the half time during the past year must report income and assets.

Tip #7 – Report Adjusted Gross Income. Do not report total income. If you estimate income in order to submit the FAFSA by the deadline, be sure not to overestimate your Adjusted Gross Income.

Tip #8 – File the FAFSA on time.

Tip #9 – Don’t leave answers blank. If the answer is zero or not applicable enter zero in the space.

Tip #10 – To learn more about other tips that may help you in the need based FAFSA formula call College Pathways at 866-769-4944, or see more about paying for college on the College Pathways website.


All Debt is Not the Same

By Stephen Burleigh

My old college roommate, Carl, called me the other day.   After the usual catch-up on kids and creaky knees he sheepishly admitted that he was over his head in credit card debt.   In fact, he owes about $28,000 in plastic.   He accumulated this debt not by acquiring gadgets and goodies, or taking lavish vacations, but by starting a new business; you know, entrepreneurship for a brighter, more prosperous future.   So far his business isn’t doing too well and he has to borrow more just to make minimum payments on all the debt.  Says he feels like the hood ornament for the entire national consumer debt disaster.

When I heard his plight a light bulb went off in my head.  I suggested he make a proposal to his creditors they wouldn’t be able to refuse.

The next day I went with Carl to his bank for moral support.  An impatient trainee looked across the desk at us.   “So, here’s what we should do,” Carl said with one of those door-to-door Jehovah’s Witness smiles.  “Instead of slicing off a piece of my arm and leg every month for you, why don’t we just figure out what my discretionary income is and I’ll send you 10% of it.”   The New Kid seemed puzzled.  My buddy explained how to calculate discretionary income using a formula he’d found on a liberal leaning website called Fox Business: The Power to Prosper.  “Basically, we take my annual gross income and subtract federal and state taxes, then subtract Medicaid and Social Security deductions, and whatever is left is my disposable income.”  The New Kid furrowed his bushy brow and nodded – well, it was more of a frown actually.   “You want to give me 10% of that?”  “Heck no,” Carl said.  “I’d starve.  Stay with me, son.”   He licked his pencil tip with a flourish and continued.  “Next we subtract my mortgage payment, utilities, car payment, food, gas, maintenance, health insurance, car insurance, my 401K contribution, and childcare.”   The number at the bottom under the column of expenses where it said Total was pretty puny.   “That’s my discretionary income.  You can have 10% of that divided into 12 equal payments.”   The New Kid looked like Carl had just pulled a dead rabbit out of his faded John Deere tractor hat.  “Is this supposed to be some kinda joke?”   “No joke,” said Carl.   “I promise to make all my payments for twenty years, and every year we’ll sit down and figure out my discretionary income just like today, and adjust the payments.  At the end of twenty years if there’s a balance your bank will forgive it all and I’ll be scott-free.”   With that the New Kid choked on his Red Bull and did a real life “I Love Lucy” spit take all over his desk.   He was resisting enlightenment.   As he mopped up the mess he said sarcastically, “You probably want us to pay the interest if your crappy little payment doesn’t cover it, and not add any interest if you have a financial hardship too.”    “My goodness, you catch on fast, young man.  Ain’t it a great deal?”

He sat down, popped a couple of Adderall, and puckered his mouth into a persimmon sneer.  “You act like you’re doing us some kind of public service, old man.”  Carl and I shared a knowing chuckle.  That’s when Carl told him about his John F. Kennedy epiphany.  He explained that he was planning to do stuff for the good of the country like maybe teach public school or join the fire department or become a cop.   “Those people never make any money,” the New Kid scoffed.  He was right.  So Carl told him that under his proposal if he chose a career of public service the bank would agree to forgive Carl’s debt after ten years as long as he made all his payments; “I call it Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  It’s win – win for everybody.

“Preposterous!  No lender would ever agree to that!”

He was right.  Carl was sunk.  No credit card company would ever agree to that proposal.  But the New Kid was wrong that no lender would agree.   If only Carl had gone back to college and borrowed $28,000 in Direct Loans to train for his new business.  The federal government has agreed to everything in Carl’s proposal for college graduates whose federal student loan debt is disproportionately high relative to income.  This includes all Direct Loans, Stafford Loans, and FFEL loans.  Average student loan debt these days for a graduate with a Bachelors degree is about $28,000.   But you don’t have to live on a diet of Ramen Noodles for years to make the payments.  Depending on your career and ability to pay you may not even have to pay it all back.   Find out more about Income Based Repayment (IBR), the Pay as You Earn Plan, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program at:



College and Future Earnings: All About The Benjamins
By Stephen Burleigh

I got a call the other day from a mother who was concerned about her son who is getting ready to apply to college. She’s worried about what he should declare as a major. The good news is that the boy knows what he wants: he wants to get rich, filthy rich. She explained that his view of the world is slightly skewed because where they live all of his friends’ parents are either movie stars or hedge fund managers. (I immediately made a mental note to start hanging out at their local Starbucks.) Her son has decided that his talents are more suited to hedge fund managing than movie stardom. And the investment guys have assured him that the road to hedge fund managing has lower risk and better financial upside – invoking the old Peter Principle if the last couple of years are any indication.

Anyway, her question stumped me. If he had chosen movie stardom the answer would have been a snap. As we all know the road to movie stardom is the road most traveled in college; it is paved with debauchery and narcissism, or as my generation called it – sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. (*disclaimer – anecdotal only: the author has no direct knowledge of these indulgences) This called for more than my usual, “Take two aspirin and follow your bliss.”

Fortunately, her call came right after an article written by Beckie Supiano appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education ( that summarized a study called “The College Payoff: Education, Occupation, Lifetime Earnings” conducted by three Georgetown professors on lifetime personal income broken down by degree and profession. Physicians and surgeons with professional degrees top the list with lifetime earnings of $6,172,000. Chief executives with a doctoral degree earn $5,131,000, while chief executives with just a masters degree earn $5,160,000, and chief executives with only a bachelors degree have to get by on $4,483,000. Professors with a PhD, like those who did this study, have average lifetime earnings of $2,803,000.

The study does not include move stars or actors, but the average annual salary of an actor in 2010 was $5,000. Johnny Depp made $75 million that year, Ben Stiller made $53 million, and Leonardo DiCaprio made $48 million. Lloyd Blankfein, the ceo of Goldman Sachs, saw his income slip from $68.5 million in 2007 to $13.2 million in 2010.

I’m guessing these luminaries share the same zip code as the mom who called me. These are the outliers, as Malcolm Gladwell might say. But the College Payoff study once again demonstrates that level of education directly correlates to increased lifetime earnings, no matter what your bliss is.


Education Cuts: An Immodest Proposal
By Stephen Burleigh

We did it! We’re raised the debt ceiling and lowered the deficit. How sweet it is. Now every American will have to tighten his or her belt and do their part. Everybody that is except those welfare parasites who make over $250,000 a year, can’t be trusted on commercial transit, have to resort to private jets, and who risk skin cancer by having to shelter gazillions in profits in climate challenged tax havens like Bermuda or the Cayman Islands. They’re exempt; and that’s a good thing because they’re the job creators.

So while they’re busy creating jobs let’s jump-start the belt tightening and get rid of some jobs. No time to waste. We’ll begin with education, that wasteful entitlement. And to paraphrase Shakespeare’s famous legal advice in King Henry VI, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the teachers.” Well, let’s at least get rid of the bad apples who are a drag on district budgets and have generally ruined student achievement (learning?) in America’s K-12 schools. Actually, the president’s basketball buddy and Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan, is ahead of the slash curve. He’s been flying around the country selling his brand of snake oil called Value Added Analysis to evaluate teacher effectiveness, which is then used to ferret out the teachers who are responsible for little Johnny’s poor performance on standardized tests. Looks like a sure fire way to catch those slacker teachers who’ve been gaming the system for their $52,674 a year salaries ( 08/2011). Unfortunately, Arnie and his surrogates who run school districts haven’t yet refined the value-added formula to account for variations in race and poverty among elementary school students. Decisions are made in a fog of regression analysis. The District of Columbia Public Schools refused to give 8th grade teacher Sarah Bax their algorithm for determining her value added score because…shhhh…it’s a secret. So I’ll just cut to the chase and give you the secret value-added formula used to determine which elementary teachers stay and which ones go in Houston, Texas: y = X? + Zv + ? where ? is a p-by-1 vector of fixed effects; X is an n-by-p matrix; v is a q-by-1 vector of random effects; Z is an n-by-q matrix; E(v) = 0, Var(v) = G; E(?) = 0, Var(?) = R; Cov(v,?) = 0. V = Var(y) = Var(y – X?) = Var(Zv + ?) = ZGZT + R.

Come on people! Moody’s and Standard & Poor are holding the sword of Damocles over our national credit rating. We need to act now. We can’t take the time to master quantum physics just so some out-of-work 4th grade teacher can tie us up in litigation for the next ten years. We have to dump salaries pronto; do more with less. But how?

I propose we use the same system in lower education for separating the wheat from the chaff that we do in higher education: Student Evaluations of Faculty (SEF). SEF at colleges has professors on the run: bad SEF, no tenure for you, doc. And if cutbacks are in the wind, negative SEF’s will trim your sails – hasta la vista el professore. Professors fear the almighty SEF so much that they hand out A’s and B’s like candy. The good news is that grade inflation is rampant at both public and private universities so gpa’s are way up, and the amount of homework is down. Transcripts tell us college students are learning and achieving at record levels. Studies tell us the opposite is true. In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, 2011), Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, found that:

Increasingly, time-pressured college teachers ask themselves, “What grade will ensure no complaint from the student, or worse, a quasi-legal battle over whether the instructions for an assignment were clear enough?” So, the number of A-range grades keeps going up, and the motivation for students to excel keeps going down.

The common wisdom, for the untenured, at least—whether it is true or not—is to find ways to keep the students happy: Expect little, smile a lot, gesture freely, show movies, praise them constantly, give high marks, bring cookies on evaluation day.

That’s how the big boys do it in higher education. Like Congress they let special interests dictate decisions on major issues. They ask the kids. We could do it in K-12 and save the money we now spend on value-added consulting firms and avoid all that objectivityishness. In fact, there’s already a website called RateMyTeachers that allows kids and parents to rate their teachers. It’s free. Teachers are given a score of 1 to 5 on: Overall Easiness, Overall Helpfulness, and Overall Clarity. Students may also comment. Here are some random examples. I’ll let you play Donald Trump and decide the fates of these teachers.

“Man this guy is the best teacher even better than Fujita he took the whole class to burger king and paid he understands us teens of how boring school can get so he makes it fun.”

“Mrs. C may not be the best teacher, but she’s definitely better than people say she is.”

“Way to hard. Since it is that hard, I did not learn anything even though I thought I understand what I suppose to do.”

“A very good teacher. Is very helpful. Has a nice ghetto booty.” (no way this one gets away)

We’re not going to raise taxes, or reinstate previous tax rates to maintain Title I commitments to pay for our future. We’re demonizing teachers and their representatives in the name of raising test scores so we can lower the bottom line. We’re devising arcane and flawed formulas to do what administrators apparently are unable to do; decide who stays and who must go. We’re paying tax dollars to consultants and think tanks to provide the data, even as those experts acknowledge that America’s most intractable problems – race and poverty – cannot be accurately quantified, though teachers deal with the effects in the classroom every day. We’re increasing class size and eliminating proven educational services like arts and counseling. Why not turn the decision making over to the kids? We had our “adult conversation”. How’s that working out?


College Grade Inflation and Me
By Stephen Burleigh

I’m not too confident that I’m smarter than a fifth grader. Probably not. However, we now have irrefutable proof that I am smarter than my two adult sons. For the past two or three decades I’ve struggled with the uneasy feeling that they outpaced me intellectually. My youngest son is a professional musician who plays several instruments well and was born with the math gene; and his older brother is a true man of letters who chose the sordid life of professional playwright and screen writer over the ivy halls of academia. For many years the subject of who was smarter was a taboo in our family because I convinced them it was irrelevant as long as I could still kick their butts. Those days are long gone. Sure they whipped me in chess, even checkers, and the stack of serious fiction and non-fiction next to their beds towered over my wimpy pile of New Yorkers. I hated having to ask for help on the Sunday Times crossword from those ungrateful mini-Einsteins.

But now we know the truth. And I feel great. Researchers Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy have completed a study on grade inflation at over 200 four-year colleges and universities. Their study was published in the The Teachers College Record. ( You can read an excellent summary of their findings by Catherine Rampell in the New York Times (

The bottom line is that the percentage of A’s awarded in college has skyrocketed. Rampell reports, “43 percent of all letter grades given were A’s, an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. The distribution of B’s has stayed relatively constant; the growing share of A’s instead comes at the expense of a shrinking share of C’s, D’s and F’s. In fact, only about 10 percent of grades awarded are D’s and F’s.” Back in the day, back in my day, it was much harder to get an A. Not only did I have to walk ten miles through rain and snow to get to my classes every morning, I had to really work for that pat on the back. Not like those two slackers who ate all my ice cream and breezed to class on their skateboards.

Moreover, private colleges give out a much higher percentage of A’s and B’s than public universities. In fact at private colleges 86% of all grades given out are A’s and B’s, compared to 73% at publics today. And guess who went to a big public university and guess who went to fancy pants private colleges?

I graduated from a big public university at a time when the A was still the holy grail. And I got a bunch of ‘em. And those boys went to private colleges when anybody with a heartbeat could get an A in discreet math or semiotics. Thanks to Rojstaczer and Healy the jury is in and we now have confirmation that my generation of A getters is smarter than my kids’ generation of over achievers. ‘Nuff said. QED.  Now if I could just remember where I left my glasses.

College Admission: International Student Recruiting
By Stephen Burleigh

“It’s destructive of the very function of admissions. The credibility of American higher education is at risk if we begin to parcel out pieces of it like car sales.” OMG! Can it be? This is an outrage! Is car buying really going the way of college admissions? That would be a disaster. I mean when I bought our new Lexus IS250 (really cool car) I went to the dealer, drove that baby around the block, got a feel for how it handled and made me feel about myself. Then we sat down and the salesman said, “I’ll sell you this purty li’l thang for a dozen Krispy-Kremes,” And I said, “I drove her; I know what I’ll be gettin’. I’ll give you eight Krispy-Kremes and a tall cup ‘o Joe.” He said, “Done deal.” He threw in a three year guarantee against any defective parts and I drove her off the lot. If only college admissions were that straight forward, transparent, and offered a quality guarantee.

But according to Barmak Nassirian, an associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, college admissions is in danger of being fair. Well, not exactly. He’s upset that some colleges are paying recruiters in foreign countries to entice qualified students to enroll in their universities. I mean, let’s face it, that’s paying people to put fannies in the seats. You might even call it marketing. Nobody’s forcing international kids to sign on the dotted line, there’s no accusation of bribery (unlike NCAA college athletics), just paid representatives out in Asia, and India and Eastern Europe, (did I mention Asia and India?) and other exotic destinations spreading the gospel about their institutions. If a kid signs up the rep gets a bonus.

Now every college worth its pound of flesh has an enrollment management and marketing VP. What do these guys with the fancy title do? Well, they crunch a lot of numbers having to do with teenagers, target them with seductive marketing campaigns, and get paid a lot more than those dastardly international recruiters to do what? Put fannies in the seats, that’s what. Why then is Mr. Nassarian so upset about a few rogue agents in Shanghai or Mumbai? Because international admissions is really big business and colleges claim they want a level playing field. Of course, a “level playing field” in college admissions is an oxymoron.

With all the caterwaul and hand wringing about the decline in American education guess what American industry is rated number one in the world. Give up? American higher education. Our colleges and universities win the international race by a country mile. Germany isn’t even close; England retains a little luster; and those menacing Chinese who are threatening our leadership in every other category aren’t even a blip on the radar. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “the Academic Ranking of World Universities, published annually by China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University, American institutions continue to dominate the top echelons of the influential list: 54 percent of the top 100 universities are in the United States, according to an analysis, with Harvard retaining the top spot, followed by Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. The only three non-American universities in the top 20 are the University of Cambridge, at number four, the University of Oxford, at number 10, and Tokyo University, in the 19th spot.” Furthermore, as Fareed Zakaria points out in his book The Post American World, “In India, universities graduate between 35 and 50 Ph.D’s in computer science each year; in America, the figure is 1,000.”

Last year over 670,000 international students came to study in the U.S. The University of Southern California (USC) had the highest number of foreign students enrolled with 7,500, NYU was second, and Columbia University was third. Foreign families love our colleges and our colleges love them. International student recruitment is big business because it has a really big bottom line. The kids aren’t smarter or better prepared. Diversity? Really? Check the statistics on diversity among America’s top 100 colleges. When you separate athletes the numbers are shameful. Foreign students pay full tuition, do not qualify for federal financial aid, and must sign an affidavit proving they have at least one year of tuition and living expenses already in a bank account – and they must prove it every year. We’re talking 50 grand or more in the bank ready to turn over to a college bursar. International students aren’t being aggressively recruited because of their talent and brains. They are deficit reducers. And as more colleges deal with historic deficits, competition for these full pay dreamers will heat up. Maybe Mr. Nissarian would feel better shilling at a car lot.