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Swarthmore in the News February 25, 2011


The Delaware County Daily Times

Inn planned for Town Center West project in Swarthmore

By Sue Serbin

February 23, 2011

Swarthmore Mayor Rick Lowe delivered his State of the Borough address at last week's legislative meeting. Much of the talk addressed relationships with Swarthmore College as the borough and institution look forward to potential development known as the "Town Center West."

Lowe's status report on the project stated that the college is scheduled to consider a plan for an inn of 40 to 45 rooms, a restaurant with a liquor license, and a campus store offering a variety of merchandise. Long-range plans may include apartments, but Lowe said he believes that will not be in the initial phase.

"According to the college website, it had commissioned two independent feasibility studies. One concluded the number of rooms for the inn is 40, and the other said 40 to 45. The scale of such an inn is consistent with the borough's Town Center Revitalization Strategy from 1999 which endorsed the idea of an inn with 65 rooms. This appears to fit within the limits of the zoning overlay ordinance passed in 2005 which permits by conditional use, under certain circumstances, an 80-room inn," he said.

Lowe said feedback from attendance at a recent Swarthmore Rotary meeting at which he spoke was positive. ...

The college's Web site for the project is


mX News Sydney (Australia)

Spoilt for choice

By Tim Mitchell

February 23, 2011

...You Choose, You Lose?

Barry Schwartz, professor of social theory at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and author of The Paradox of Choice , has a similar theory.

He can't say how much choice is too much, but Schwartz knows one thing: the world we live in today has too much of it.

Does that mean we have to pare down our lives?

''Simplifying your life is, to me, a little escapist,'' Schwartz says.

''I think we would benefit if we simplified our collective life, but I am not a big fan of retreating from society.''

The most important thing to remember is that ''good enough'' really is good enough and that you don't need ''best''.

Be it shiny gadgets, career paths or life partners, know that your choice might not always make you happy, but at least you can be happy that you got to choose.

USA Today

Schools tout efforts to keep tuition in check

By Mary Beth Marklein

February 22, 2011

Last Thursday, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia announced a 3.9% tuition increase, its "second smallest ... in 43 years." A day earlier, The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., released the news that its board approved a 10% cut in tuition and fees for the coming academic year.

...But colleges also recognize that families are struggling. Nearly two-thirds of incoming students reported that the "current economic situation significantly affected my college choice," says an annual survey of more than 200,000 full-time first-year students attending four-year colleges. It was released last month by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute.

..."There's a great deal of aid out there, (and) some schools are doing an exceptional job," says Robert Franek, senior vice president of publishing at The Princeton Review, which today releases with USA TODAY its list of 100 "Best Value" Colleges for 2011.

For the last three years, the University of Virginia and Swarthmore College have remained the No. 1 Best Value colleges for public and private schools, respectively. New College of Florida in Sarasota has consistently ranked No. 2 or No. 3. (more)

USA Today

Economy shuffles top-value schools - Princeton Review list shows affordability hit

By Mary Beth Marklein

February 22, 2011

The economy may be bouncing back, but college-bound students in search of an affordable education face a bumpy ride.

Federal stimulus money, which helped many public universities hold tuition down, is about to dry up. Some private schools, including Williams and Dartmouth, are paring financial aid. House Republicans have proposed cutting the maximum Pell Grant given to needy students.

Economic uncertainty in recent years is reflected in changes to The Princeton Review's 100 Best Value Colleges, published online today by USA TODAY. The fluctuation over three years in the list, which features 50 public and 50 private schools culled from about 700 surveyed, suggests that many colleges are struggling to stay affordable. ...

"Many schools have been under great pressure," says Robert Franek, a senior vice president of The Princeton Review. The 100 Best Value Colleges for 2011 "have made a clear commitment this year, specifically, to make sure financial aid is ... even more available."...


1. Swarthmore College, Swarthmore , Pa.

2. Duke University, Durham, N.C.

3. Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.

4. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

5. Harvard College, Cambridge, Mass.

The Today Show

Education Nation Today; Princeton Review's Rob Franek discusses best-value colleges for 2011

February 22, 2011

WILLIE GEIST, co-host:

This morning on Education Nation Today, Princeton Review's best-value colleges for 2011. The cost of college is rising at nearly three times the rate of inflation, putting a big financial strain on families across the country. So how can you get the most educational bang for your buck? Rob Franek is senior vice president of Princeton Review, the publisher of  How to Pay For College Without Going Broke.

Rob, good morning. Good to see you.

Mr. ROB FRANEK: Good morning. Thanks for inviting me back.

...GEIST: get out the pencil and the paper and you start gaming it out, going to college 15 years from now, it looks like it's kind of prohibitive for a lot of people.

Mr. FRANEK: Well, it is scary, and that's--and that's one of the reasons that we put this project together, this is the third year that we've put this project together, Princeton Review and USA Today teamed up on creating a list of 50 public and 50 private colleges that do the near impossible, not make you mortgage out your future to actually pay for education. ...

GEIST: All right. Private schools now. Number one, Swarthmore.

Mr. FRANEK: Swarthmore. Again, this is a consecutive--third year consecutive at our number one spot. When we start to think about sticker prices, especially for Swarthmore, $52,000 average sticker price, but the average grant aid, $34,700. So what we found at the Princeton Review was that lots of folks were crossing expensive schools off of their list of considerations early on, but that would be a tragic mistake, especially for a school like Swarthmore.

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

Average tab $17,910 Meets 100% of need without loans

The Huffington Post

Emerging Languages, Emergent Cultures

By K. David Harrison

February 18, 2011

When ideas go extinct, we all grow poorer. Half the world's 7,000 languages now face extinction; a dramatic shift in human intellectual history. Our 21st century world -- replete with wondrous technologies -- rests upon the foundation of all humankind's prior wisdom and creativity.

This human knowledge base is durable, and during 99% of human history has been passed solely mouth to ear. Yet it is fragile, mostly unwritten, and vulnerable to forgetting.

Human survival required not just genetic diversity for physical vigor, but diversity of ideas for ingenuity. Knowledge expressed uniquely in each of 7,000 living tongues -- and resisting direct translation -- allowed our species to thrive on this planet.

But we are now at risk of entering an informational and evolutionary bottleneck, heading for a global memory wipe as languages vanish. (more)

Editor's Note: Dr. K. David Harrison is an associate professor of linguistics at Swarthmore College


Watts Up with That (blog)

Ravetz on Lisbon and leading the way

Dr. Jerome Ravetz

February 22, 2011

While the micro-bureaucracy of the Lisbon workshop bureaucracy grinds its way towards the release of a statement, I realise that the time is long overdue for me to touch base at WUWT.

...I suppose people know that I went to a Quaker college, Swarthmore, and I have spent all the years afterwards making sense of its message of nonviolence. In a course on political science I read  The Power of Non-Violence by Richard Gregg. It struck me as very sweet but quite unrealistic. Between then and now was Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and now Tunisia, Egypt and beyond. It seems that a group of non-violent activists in Serbia had used a book by one of Gregg's followers, Gene Sharp. They had passed the message to a study group in Qatar, and it was picked up by the activists in Tunisia and Egypt to become the basis of their strategy. The rest is history in the making. There is at last some chance that revolutions now will not simply produce new tyrannies. All this gives support to my conviction that we were correct in making the main purpose of the Lisbon workshop to further the development of non-violence in scientific debate.

My principle has always been that you don't know what the other person is going through, and to return their violence doesn't help them resolve their conflict of conscience. It's so easy to condemn the evil ones and try to destroy them; that way we would still have the sectarian killings in Northern Ireland and probably a bloodbath in South Africa. On the personal level, who would have known that the slave-trader John Newton was being prepared for the experience that would eventually lead him to compose 'Amazing Grace'?...



The Delaware County Daily Times

Pollen sets paralympic mark in 50 freestyle

February 20, 2011

Swarthmore College swimmer Travis Pollen shattered the American record in the 50-yard freestyle for his paralympic class at the Centennial Conference Championships at Gettysburg College.

Pollen clocked a 24.74 in a time trial late Friday night to put his stamp on history. The above-knee amputee also holds the 100-yard freestyle record for his S9 paralympic class.

In the men's finals Saturday Drew Close, the product of Haverford School, swam a leg on the Gettysburg 800-meter freestyle relay team that set conference and meet records with a time of 6:54.09. Close also was third in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:43.34.

Gettysburg topped the team scoring with 494 points, followed by Franklin and Marshall (449 points) with Swarthmore (411) rounding out the top three.

In the women's finals Saturday Swarthmore's Maggie Regan won the 400 individual medley in 4:39.55.

Gettysburg finished first in the women's team competition with 474 points, with F & M (454) and Swarthmore (320) in the top three.