Should Students Be Able to Refinance Student Loans?

The best higher education technology reads of the week for February 11th.

This is the first in a series of weekly roundups curating the best higher education technology news, articles and resources from around the web. Use the hashtag #higheredreads to suggest an article.

If you can refinance your mortgage, why can’t you refinance your student loans? Campus Progress suggests just that in this informative and intriguing post:

Refinancing is a pragmatic solution to the problem of mounting student debt in this country. Reduced student loan costs boost the likelihood of repayment while also stimulating the economy by freeing up income that can be used and spent in other sectors of the economy. Refinancing even just those federal student loans with an interest rate above 5 percent would result in a savings of $14 billion for individual borrowers in 2013 and pump $21 billion into the economy in the first year alone.

Read It’s Our Interest: The Need to Reduce Student Loan Interest Rates on Campus Progress by Tobin Van Ostern and Anne Johnson.

Andy Miah is a professor of ethics and emerging technologies at the University of the West of Scotland and is also an accomplished journalist. He recently published The A to Z of Social Media for Academia on his blog, which has gained the attention of the higher education community. Here is a snippet of the post, which can be read here.

D is for...

Delicious – the recently revived social bookmarking site EXAMPLE

Devonthink – a useful way to store and manage your work and related media, which finds connections between content where you perhaps wouldn’t find them

Digg – a user rated news delivery service, sharing what’s buzzing online.

Diigo – a research and collaborative research tool and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site

Dipity – a bit like storify but in a timeline format, eg from Nature News

Dlvr.it – a service which allows users to link their various social networking tools in order to reach a larger and disparate audience

Doodle – useful way of scheduling meetings or making group decisions

Dropbox – for making sure the essentials are backed up

The University of Reddit is looking to expand, and they have launched a Kickstarter project to fund their new venture, Open Compass:

Over two years ago, the University of Reddit experiment began and turned into its own community when Anastas created the first version of the website. The principle of UReddit was simple: anyone can register an account and teach a class on whatever he or she likes, and anyone can register an account and sign up for whatever classes he or she likes.

The community quickly grew; at this time, there are over 100 classes, nearly 75,000 registered accounts, and nearly 4 million total pageviews. Over the past year, several new people have joined the UReddit team, multiple professors have created classes either in their spare time or in synchrony with their real-life classes, and more.

Read more about the Kickstarter project, and check out UReddit.

<p>Image courtesy of anankkml / <a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net" target="_blank">FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>
Feb 15 2013

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