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The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30: The High School Dropout Who Wants to Create Alternatives to Traditional Education

For the month of April we’re profiling the individuals who made our inaugural list of the 30 top thinkers under 30, the young men and women we predict will have a serious impact on the social, political, and economic issues we cover every day here at Pacific Standard.

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Ironic Demographics: The Higher Education Bubble

Demographic decline is shrinking the pool of applicants for all but a handful of global superbrands, 80 percent of which are located in the United States.

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We All Stand to Lose as Parents Struggle to Repay College Loans for Their Children

New Department of Education data shows rising default rates on federal loans to parents.

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Ban the Box: Employing Former Felons Will Improve the Economy and Public Safety

Lawmakers in 10 states and over 50 cities have already enacted Ban the Box policies, eliminating the check-box that asks about an applicant’s criminal record. It’s time for Congress to follow suit.

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Does Being a Division I Athlete Lower Your Quality of Life?

According to a number of former varsity athletes at Indiana University, it does. But don’t panic just yet: The findings are still very preliminary.

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The Business of Higher Education: What We Miss by Looking Only at Balance Sheets

The generation of knowledge by professors. The transformative conversations that happen outside of the classroom. The advancements in our understanding of society. How can you put a value on any of these things?

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Should We Force Colleges to Disclose How They Allocate Financial Aid?

Universities rarely release the specific criteria behind their aid decisions. Could a little-known regulation help open the black box?

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Creating Content for Many to Access a Few

MOOCs have value even for those who don’t finish them.

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Are Prison Education Programs Worth It?

Cost-benefit analyses should consider more than dollars and cents.

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MOOCs Are Going to Make College Even More Expensive

Many massive open online courses serve as giant, viral marketing campaigns for universities looking to find even more potential students.

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Quick Studies

What Makes You Neurotic?

A new study gets to the root of our anxieties.

Fecal Donor Banks Are Possible and Could Save Lives

Defrosted fecal matter can be gross to talk about, but the benefits are too remarkable to tiptoe around.

How Junk Food Companies Manipulate Your Tongue

We mistakenly think that harder foods contain fewer calories, and those mistakes can affect our belt sizes.

What Steve Jobs’ Death Teaches Us About Public Health

Studies have shown that when public figures die from disease, the public takes notice. New research suggests this could be the key to reaching those who are most at risk.

Speed-Reading Apps Will Not Revolutionize Anything, Except Your Understanding

The one-word-at-a-time presentation eliminates the eye movements that help you comprehend what you're reading.

The Big One

One state—Pennsylvania—logs 52 percent of all sales, shipments, and receipts for the chocolate manufacturing industry. March/April 2014