Costs to rise at Johns Hopkins

The Education Beat

Expenses: Administrators say 5 percent increase in tuition, room and board is needed to cover the cost of operating a student arts center due to open this year.

March 22, 2000|By Mike Bowler | Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF

TUITION, ROOM and board for Johns Hopkins University undergraduates living on campus will rise 5 percent next year to $33,121, the university announced yesterday. Tuition alone increases 5.4 percent, to $24,936.

Of course, these are just sticker prices; more than half of Homewood students get need-based financial aid, thanks in part to a $45 million pledge two years ago from Hopkins board of trustees Chairman Michael R. Bloomberg.

Federal antitrust laws make it illegal for Hopkins to conspire with other schools in setting tuition, but of those announced so far, Hopkins is on the high side. Officials said the increase was "entirely associated" with the cost of operating a student arts center due to open this year.

Tuition increases announced this spring range from 6 percent at Stanford to 2.9 percent at Harvard and Yale.

Williams College in Massachusetts became the first selective private college to freeze next year's tuition, room and board at this year's $31,520. "It was the right thing to do under our current circumstances," said interim President Carl Vogt, who has seen his school's endowment swell in the bull stock market.

Charles Village bookstore still planned by Hopkins

Speaking of Johns Hopkins, it's been two years since the university said it would open a bookstore in Charles Village, replacing or supplementing a Barnes & Noble store in the basement of Gilman Hall, where it is virtually inaccessible to the public.

Last year, the project was held up because of zoning problems. This month, spokesman Dennis O'Shea says, the bookstore "sort of got caught up in [discussion of] the master plan." But it's still on the drawing board, and the 3300 block of N. Charles St. "is still definitely the place we're going to put it."

High school scholarship changes through the years

The Abell Foundation performs a public service by tracking area high schools' participation in the Advanced Placement program, which allows students to take demanding courses and get a leg up on college admission.

Alas, again in 1998-1999, Baltimore brought up the rear. In the city, 162 students took 227 Advanced Placement examinations, while in Baltimore County, 1,689 students took 2,863 AP exams. That's more than 10 times the city's participation in a district with comparable enrollment.

One other telling statistic: Students at Dulaney High School in the county took 597 AP exams last spring, more than twice the number taken at all five city academic magnet schools combined.

"Based on the current performance" of students in the city high schools, the Abell report says, "it is clear that higher levels of academic achievement can and should be expected."

As a point of comparison, consider the class schedule adopted in 1869 for one of those schools, City College:

Freshman: five hours Latin weekly, three hours English analysis, five hours algebra, one hour arithmetic, one hour geometry, two hours natural philosophy, three hours history, four hours writing and one hour bookkeeping.

Sophomore: five hours Latin, four hours German, five hours geometry, one hour astronomy, two hours bookkeeping, three hours physiology, two hours history and three hours English analysis.

Junior: four hours Latin, four hours Greek, three hours French, three hours German, one hour astronomy, four hours surveying, four hours natural philosophy and two hours rhetoric.

Senior: four hours Latin, four hours Greek, two hours French, three hours analytical geometry, one hour astronomy, three hours chemistry, two hours English literature, three hours mental and moral philosophy and one hour Constitution of the United States.

(My source, for which I am indebted to James H. Bready, is an 1894 "History of Education in Maryland," by Bernard C. Steiner, a Pratt librarian and Hopkins history professor.)

Adults take humorous stab at their version of MSPAP

More than a century later, we have the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP), for which third-, fifth- and eighth-graders are busily preparing with the advent of spring.

In recent weeks, Maryland teachers' and administrators' e-mail has been buzzing with an anonymous "adult version" of MSPAP. Here are a few of the tasks:

Music: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.

Health: You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have 15 minutes.

Biology: Create life. Estimate the difference in subsequent human culture if this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.

Test-takers are warned to do their best. "Your principal's job is dependent upon your performance."

Pub Date: 3/22/00

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