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Does college pay off? It’s top of mind for parents and students… especially since 2012, when total student debt passed the mind-boggling landmark of one trillion dollars. Since the parents of today’s freshman went to school, college costs have increased by a thousand percent; meanwhile, half of all federal student loans are overdue or in default. Is it possible to make college more affordable for more students? We’ll grade new alternatives to traditional ivy-covered brick and mortar classrooms.

Also, the murder of James Foley, and a growing “American hostage crisis.”

Banner Image Credit: meddygarnet

Video of Killing of James Foley is Authenticated 7 MIN, 37 SEC

US intelligence analysts have authenticated the video released by the Islamic State depicting the beheading of James Foley. In the video, a masked member of the Islamic State threatens to kill more Americans if the U.S. military continues its air strike campaign in Iraq. President Obama responded this morning: "Friends and allies around the world—we share a common security and a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw yesterday. And we will continue to confront his hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and civility. That’s what Jim Foley stood for." Dion Nissenbaum is the national security reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Dion Nissenbaum, Wall Street Journal (@DionNissenbaum)

The Soaring Costs of College Tuition 35 MIN, 47 SEC

If you are a student or a parent of a student headed for college, the numbers are daunting: $240,000 for a private four year college. Even some state Universities can now cost upwards of $80,000. Half of all student federal loans are now in arrears.

It all adds up to one question: Is college worth it? And if not, what’s being done to help students struggling with debt, and what alternatives are out there for kids questioning the value of liberal arts education at such a high price? We’ll look at alternative models to the traditional four year college, and question what the value is of a liberal arts education in dollars and cents.

Richard Vedder, Center for College Affordability and Productivity (@RichardVedder)
Sandy Baum, George Washington University (@urbaninstitute)
Michael Roth, Wesleyan University (@mroth78)
Graeme Wood, Atlantic Magazine (@gcaw)

The Future of College?
The Real Value of Online Education

Journalists' Lives at Risk in Syria 7 MIN, 18 SEC

Nearly every day, foreign correspondents join this program to share their reporting and insights from dangerous parts of the world, be it Nigeria and Liberia or Syria and Iraq. The beheading of James Foley is a reminder that they’re taking enormous risks to do so. Foley is only one of dozens of journalists overseas who have been kidnapped in recent years by extremist groups. Andy Kroll is senior reporter at Mother Jones magazine and he’s been writing about the increasing number of journalists taken hostage.

Andy Kroll, California Sunday Magazine (@AndyKroll)

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