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Nearly Half of Student Veterans Contemplate Suicide; Study Reveals Prevalent Glass Ceiling

Student veterans and suicide. Almost half of military veterans who are enrolled in college have contemplated suicide at some point, and 20 percent have planned to kill themselves, according to a study presented Thursday at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.By those measures, the risk of suicide among student veterans is at least as severe as for veterans not in college, and much higher than for students who are not veterans, says the report, by the National Center for Veterans' Studies at the University of Utah and by Student Veterans of America. Seventeen percent of all undergraduates have seriously considered suicide, according to the most recent data from the American College Health Association. Colleges are largely unprepared to meet the needs of student veterans, whose numbers will reach the hundreds of thousands in the next decade, M. David Rudd, a professor of psychology and scientific director of the center, said at the meeting. [Chronicle of Higher Ed]

Watch out for the glass ceiling. Women may dominate college enrollments, and may soon dominate the upper echelons of the U.S. workforce. But they need more degrees than men do in order to earn the same amount of money. “On average, to earn as much as men with a bachelor’s degree, women must obtain a doctoral degree,” says a new Georgetown University study. The situation is similar for black and Latino students. White people with bachelor’s degrees typically will earn more over their lives than will blacks and Latinos who hold master’s degrees. Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce, describes these as “the most disappointing findings” of his new study, released Friday. [Inside Higher Ed]

Tackling urban inequalities. Like almost every other government agency in New York City, the City University of New York will be part of an unusually ambitious plan by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to tackle problems faced by young black and Latino men and bring them into the education system and workforce. In a press conference Thursday, Bloomberg announced a three-year, $127 million initiative to try to tackle the disparities between young men of color and the rest of the population. The effort, called the Young Men's Initiative, will try to reshape the public services offered by the city, ranging from K-12 education and the college and university system to the probation system and employment practices of the city. Money for the initiative — which will come from tax revenue; the Open Society Institute, a philanthropy created by George Soros; and Bloomberg Philanthropies — will flow to job-training programs, educational initiatives, and a variety of other public programs. [Inside Higher Ed]

Student sex workers? Times are tougher now for students than almost any time before in recent memory. Even Pell Grants have been under threat during the debt ceiling negotiations, while student loans are increasingly mounting, and a once-crucial bachelor's degree is hardly a fast-ticket to economic security in this economy. Higher education, as Sarah Jaffe reported recently, is a bubble about to burst, leaving students indebted and jobless and in dire straits. With every recession, the stories of students turning to stripping, sex work and "sugar daddy" relationships in order to pay their school bills and loans begin to proliferate in the media and in popular culture. AlterNet examines/reports on the trend. [AlterNet]

Henry Taksier [@HenryTaksier] is a former editorial intern at Campus Progress and an editorial board member of The Fine Print, a progressive publication at the University of Florida. 

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