The man who invented college spam—and created a monster

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Bill Royall was a humble direct mail marketer until he hit upon a novel idea. Royall made himself a millionaire—and transformed higher education in the process. Author Jeffrey Selingo explores the dark side of the admissions-industrial complex. The glossy college brochure has become a rite of passage for many Americans. Parents groan as leaflits fill boxes in bedrooms and cover kitchen tables. Teenagers marvel at the attention from admissions departments in far-flung locales. Read Full Story

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Rising freshmen, don’t worry. It is still possible to start college off right

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The fall college semester will not be a walk in the park. Nevertheless, if you are a freshly graduated high schooler, take a deep breath and consider all your options. As colleges extend their commitment deadline for the fall semester due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, I wanted to offer recent high school graduates (and by default their parents) some frank advice on starting college this fall. Read Full Story

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For college students trapped at home, redecorating childhood bedrooms is the latest assignment

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Bed Bath & Beyond has launched a new College From Home section of its website for the millions of college students getting ready to learn from home in the fall. Concert pianist Robin Spielberg is elbow-deep in paint—deep purple for the accent wall and lavender for the others—as she turns daughter Valerie Kosson’s childhood bedroom and the adjacent guest room into a Lebanon Valley College classroom. Read Full Story

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This nonprofit pays former gang members to go to college—now it’s helping families survive the pandemic

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College Bound Dorchester has started offering stipends to give former gang members a small basic income so they don’t have financial worries while finishing their education. Now it’s expanded its stipend program to 125 families in need. Four years ago, Naomie Charles, who grew up in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, started college—a milestone for the mother of two who had experienced homelessness, incarceration, abusive relationships, and other obstacles that had long held her back. Now 32, Charles is set to graduate from Southern New Hampshire University, and though the coronavirus pandemic has changed what that graduation will look like, the people at College Bound Dorchester, the Boston-based nonprofit that supported her throughout her education, will still be there, as they always have. Read Full Story

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