New Fast Path to a Degree

According to Money Magazine, several top tier universities are beginning to offer credits towards a degree through competency-based testing.  If you know the material, should it matter if you learned by sitting in a lecture, reading a book, or taking a free online course?  The University of Wisconsin seems to be a leader in this progressive thinking, along with U of Mich, U of Texas system, and Purdue.  Frankly, I’m a little surprised that these middle-of-the-country bastions of academia are on the forefront of what I think is a great idea.  But it shows that the coasts aren’t always leading progress.  If more institutions put students first, this would help slow the skyrocketing costs of college degrees.

Retiring the Clydesdales

According to a 11/24 article in the WSJ, 44% of 21-27 year-olds in the US have not tried Budweiser.  There was a time that it was the “standard” lager that you either drank or claimed that your beer was better than.  Times have changed for the better.  So in an attempt to woo the younger crowd, the folks who own Bud will stop or slow down the use of their trademark hay burners.

bud

Rating charities

You get reviews on cars before you buy one, why not do the same thing before giving to charities?  There are agencies which rate charities.  I was solicited by a veteran’s charity and it seemed worthwhile and it is, but I checked and there are veteran’s charities with better ratings.  Ratings are based on several criteria and the one I care a lot about is the percent spent on the charitable purpose.  Check out: http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html and http://www.charitywatch.org/ .  An article in the 12/14 issue of Money Magazine mentions charitynavigator.org, give.org, guidestar.org and impact.upenn.edu. BTW, I found that there are nearly 100 veterans charities in the U.S.  And depending on how you define “charity”, there are well over a million in the U.S. alone.  Happy giving!