Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Blog 1

I have a few ideas in mind

-I want to do commuter vs living on campus. I know the experience is totally different as I have done both.

-Something along the lines of professors selling their own textbooks

-How football dominates the budget for all sports


  1. ok, that's too many choices for me to comment on at any length. But, of these, I think the best is commuting vs. dorming, which students have done with success before.

    You might start by checking out some of the blogs by previous students who have taken on this topic. Their last post lists some interesting sources, though some of these blogs were not so strong unfortunately (because the papers were much better):

    Those could point you to quite a few resources. The most interesting issue they raised is that students living off campus tend to work more than students living on campus (mostly because they need to pay for a car, gas, tickets, and meals) and that tends to shift their focus away from school and toward work (where they tend to have closer friendships), so they take more time to graduate and often drop out and go to work due to immediate financial concerns. It's as though on campus and off campus are two different "lifestyles" that have different effects on college success. And, obviously, on-campus living is most often chosen by students from more affluent backgrounds, so the on-campus and off-campus divide aligns with social class --though, as Armstrong and Hamilton show, the dorm itself can be a tough environment for those students from even marginally lower class status than their most affluent peers.

    As I think I mentioned in class, though, I have seen research that men do much better as commuters than women do, mostly because women who commute end up doing a lot more chores around the house (such as caring for younger siblings) and men have a lot more freedom to sleep over with "friends" on campus. I'm sure you will encounter that research, but I'll help you find it if you don't. I think that gender divide might be interesting, as I also suggested to James from our class who is doing this topic.

  2. With the textbook topic, it is not really stated in a way that suggests much of a topic. But I did have a student last semester who considered professors assigning textbooks as among the many "principal-agent problems" or "agency problems" in higher education, and his topic was very promising. However, he did not invest enough time in the project (especially in the blog), so he did not do the topic justice.

    You could begin with "why are textbooks so expensive?" and that might lead to an interesting project, because there are lots of reasons.