University of Virginia

Is this what you want to pay for?

As parents, you are going to pay tens of thousands of dollars for your kids to go to college. You have a voice in what you are buying, but that begins with actually knowing what is going on behind the ivy covered walls.

You might have read that UNC-Chapel Hill has been under scrutiny for several years for academic misdeeds with student-athletes. What you probably don’t know is that, according to a null from the UNC Writing Center, UNC advises against using words such as “mailman”, “man-made”, and “policeman”.  After all, the guide says, “English has changed since the Declaration of Independence was written.” The “guide” continues with ways to make sure you don’t offend anyone by using such phrases.  Are our students so weak that something like “all men are created equal” is offensive if you are female?

UNC isn’t the only school up to these sorts of shenanigans. They are going on at colleges everywhere, but they don’t point this stuff out during prospect visits or orientation sessions for parents. This is the day to day nitty-gritty.  A professor at NC State says she will mark down grades if students write “mankind” in her women’s and gender studies class. Washington State is reeling and back peddling after a professor there said students would be marked down for using words such as “illegal aliens”.  Really?

Free speech seems to only go in one direction these days.  You might think these are extreme examples, but colleges across the country are including “trigger” warnings about course material.  Student groups that don’t like on-campus speakers often demand some alternative “safe space” where they can go after hearing some view that conflicts with their own (see “In College and Hiding from Scary Ideas” – Strong Language Warning!)

When it comes to education, ACTA does a terrific job of analyzing the core curriculum at colleges all across the country. You’ll be amazed to see how easy it is to meet the most basic requirements with silly courses.  Visit

There’s no reason to ignore your values when choosing a college. It’s true it’s your son or daughter’s experience, not yours, but if you are paying for it you might want to be informed about what’s going on.