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Nonprofit news roundup for Dec. 10, 2008

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Nonprofit jobs gaining popularity among recent grads

Nonprofits are replacing Wall Street as the hot destination for recent college graduates, Forbes reported Dec. 9. Job-placement advisers on college campuses are reporting a surge in interest among students for short-term positions in programs such as Teach for America and the Peace Corps, says Russ Finkelstein, associate director of Idealist.org. As consulting and banking jobs dry up and job security gets more elusive by the day, nonprofit careers provide more stability, as well as opportunities for meaningful service.

Princeton retains control of $900 million endowment

Princeton University will retain control of a $900 million endowment under a settlement that ended a six-year lawsuit by the donors’ relatives, Bloomberg reported Dec. 10 (see lawsuit story). The Robertson family claimed the school misused Charles and Marie Robertson’s $35 million gift, which they say was intended to prepare graduate students for government careers. The endowment will support the graduate program at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Colleges stifling American dream, columnist says

College presidents deserve the same dressing-down Wall Street CEOs and auto executives have received in the last several months, says Derrick Jackson in an opinion column in The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Dec. 9 (see college column). Tuition and fees at U.S. colleges and universities have ballooned 439 percent in the past 25 years, three times the rise in median family income in the same time period. For students struggling to make tuition payments, debt has more than doubled in the past decade to $85 billion from $41 billion.

College gets record $20 million gift

The College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., received an anonymous gift of over $20 million, the largest in its history, for its recently-founded School of Health, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Dec. 9 (see health story). The college will receive at least $1 million a year for the duration of the endowment’s existence to bring in 170 new nursing students over the next five years, launch a physician-assistant program and expand nursing programs and laboratories.

CUNY hikes tuition 15 percent

City University of New York is hiking tuition 15 percent next fall and introducing financial-aid programs to help students absorb the cost, Crain’s New York Business reported Dec. 9 (see tuition story). The hikes would push the price of annual full-time enrollment for New York residents up to $4,600. The school also is responding to the economic crisis by requesting an additional $165 million from the state, which would bring the school’s budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year to $2.6 billion.

In Brief:

* Because of dramatic changes made by the IRS to 403(b) retirement-savings plans, nonprofit executives will have to take a more active role in administration and oversight, says William C. Fisher in an opinion column in McKnight’s Dec. 9.

* For-profit companies can use philanthropy as a way to boost sales in a slumping economy, says a column in The San Francisco Chronicle Dec. 10.

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