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The Effect of Housing Wealth on College Choice Examined by Kent State Researcher

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C. Lockwood Reynolds, assistant
professor in Kent State’s Department of
Economics, co-authored a study that looked
into the effect of housing wealth on college

The housing boom that some areas of the country experienced in the late 1990s and early 2000s resulted in dramatic increases in housing values for many households. A new study by researchers at Kent State University and Cornell University found that this growth resulted in changes in college choices by students in those households.

C. Lockwood Reynolds
, assistant professor in Kent State’s Department of Economics, co-authored the study with Michael Lovenheim, assistant professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell. Their findings were published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, and are available online.

Federal financial college aid is based primarily on household income, but housing values are not part of the calculation. “Starting in 1992, Congress specifically exempted housing equity from federal financial aid calculations, although private schools can still consider it,” Reynolds says.

Households that experienced a windfall from the housing boom were more likely to send their children to college, more likely to send their kids to four-year public institutions instead of two-year institutions and more likely to send their children to state flagship institutions instead of nonflagship public institutions, according to the research.

“We found that increases in housing wealth seem to lead to increased attendance at better quality or more prestigious schools,” Reynolds says. “The effect is really concentrated in lower- and middle-income households.”

The changes in college sector choices the pair found suggest that students and their parents reacted to home price changes by altering application and enrollment decisions.

Another significant factor driving the changes was the dramatic increase in the liquidity of housing wealth due to home equity loans, according to Reynolds.

“It became absurdly easy to say ‘My house is worth this much money and, therefore, I’ll take out a loan against it,’ and essentially have money to spend,” Reynolds says. “It’s like some folks won a little lottery based on when and where they lived.”

According to Reynolds and Lovenheim, there is a growing amount of literature suggesting students attending higher quality universities have better educational and labor market outcomes. But the effect of housing wealth on college choice has been relatively underexamined, according to the team.

For more information about Kent State’s Department of Economics, visit

Posted July 9, 2012

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Kent State Introduces Energy-Efficient Soda Machines and Trash Cans With Recycling Partitions

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Energy-saving soda machines have been
placed around campus as part of Kent State's
sustainability efforts. 

Kent State’s Facilities Planning and Operations department, which is in charge of the university’s sustainability efforts, has implemented two new ideas to make Kent State a more sustainable campus.

Sustainable soda machines
Kent State is teaming up with Pepsi to create a more sustainable, environmentally friendly campus.

New soda machines that save more energy have been placed around campus. Several steps have been taken to conserve energy:

  • Pepsi machines around campus have been replaced with new Energy Star machines, which use less energy.
  • The machines turn off after 30 minutes of idle time.
  • Kent State has asked for machines to be de-lamped where possible, which involves removing the lights in the machines.

Even though the machines may appear off, they still keep drinks cold. The machines will “wake up” when touched.

“Kent State is always looking for ways to be more energy efficient,” says Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager, Facilities Planning and Operations.

Increased recycling efforts
New recycling partitions also have been placed in trash receptacles around campus to encourage the campus community to recycle.

The Facilities Planning and Operations department also is testing new, half-moon-shaped recycling liners in 10 trash cans throughout the Kent Campus.

“The university has been working on providing more recycling locations outdoors on campus,” says Knowles.

Knowles says the department plans to execute a campaign to raise awareness by using signage, such as a ribbon or wrap around the divided cans, so people know from a distance that the cans are for both recycling and trash.

If successful, Knowles says the recycling liners will likely be added to all trash receptacles on campus.

“The liners are a convenient way for students, staff and faculty to recycle,” Knowles says. “Kent State is dedicated to sustainability and staying green, and the liners are only one of our ideas.”

For information or feedback regarding Kent State’s sustainability efforts, visit or contact Knowles at or 330-672-8039. 

Posted July 9, 2012 | Trenton Chavez

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Cashiering System Outage

The university’s payment processing sites will not be available for 24 hours beginning at 1 p.m. EST on Saturday, July 14, and conclude at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, July 15.

Posted July 9, 2012

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Submit Memories of Homecoming Celebrations at Ray’s Place by July 31

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Kent State Associate Professor Patrick O’Connor is
seeking memories of Homecoming celebrations at Ray's
Place for a book that celebrates the 75th anniversary of
the downtown Kent restaurant and pub.

Do you have any fun memories of Kent State University’s Homecoming celebration at Ray’s Place in downtown Kent? Author and associate professor in the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies Patrick O’Connor wants you to share your stories for a book that celebrates the 75th anniversary of Ray’s Place.

“I marvel at how popular Ray’s Place is, especially during Homecoming, and the tremendous loyalty of its customers. Sharing the stories of the restaurant’s employees and customers for the past 75 years is something unique and worth celebrating,” O’Connor says.

The bulk of the book will feature fond, funny, sentimental or weird memories of Ray’s Place shared by employees and customers. Submissions for the book can be made by July 31 via the Ray’s Place website. An option to submit memories anonymously is also available on the website.

“We are in the final stages of producing the book, but we want to give past employees and customers of Ray’s Place the opportunity to submit and share their stories, especially those related to Homecoming, to be considered for the book,” O’Connor says.

Charles Thomas, owner of Ray’s Place and Kent State College of Business Administration alumnus, says the restaurant and pub has been a place for students to come back to after graduation. Thomas says whenever Kent State officials travel around the country to meet alumni, often times, one of the first questions they get is ‘How is Ray’s Place?’

For more information about the book, email O’Connor at

Posted July 9, 2012

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Submit Your Favorite “Staycation” Ideas by July 10

Last Monday, e-Inside featured a story titled “Fun and Affordable Staycation Ideas” and asked if you have any fun “staycation” recommendations to add to the list. Email your “staycation” ideas to by Tuesday, July 10, and they might be published in a future issue of e-Inside.

Posted July 9, 2012

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