Internet protesters associated with hacktivist group Anonymous took responsibility for shutting down the websites of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Department of Justice on Sunday, according to the Huffington Post. The protestors disabled the websites in tribute to programmer and internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on Jan. 11. Anonymous issued a statement on the Department of Justice's website, criticizing the U.S. government's persecution of Swartz, who founded a company that merged with Reddit, for allegedly downloading nearly four million scientific documents. The group also called for the reformation of computer crime laws and increased accessibility to information on the Internet. If Swartz were found guilty of the charges he faced, he would have faced several decades of imprisonment, according to the Washington Post.
Parents that spend more money on their children's college education tend to see their children perform worse academically than students without the same amount of parental support, according to a study by University of California at Merced professor Laura Hamilton. The findings were most apparent for students receiving financial support from their parents at schools that were private, out-of-state and expensive. The finding supports a general sentiment that students who have not personally invested in their educations might feel less pressure to perform, according to Inside Higher Ed. Before encouraging parents to spend less on their children's education, however, Hamilton warned that students who receive less financial support from their parents are less likely to graduate. The study also indicated that the effects of parental financial support can be mitigated if parents set clear academic expectations.
Student groups at almost 200 universities and colleges across the nation are protesting against their schools' holdings in large fossil-fuel companies, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The student groups take issue with what they claim is their schools' contribution to climate change. Currently $20 billion of the estimated $400 billion in assets held by higher education institutions is invested in energy and natural resources such as oil, gas and coal. Despite rising student discontent, colleges and universities have largely maintained their investments due to their high profitability. In an economic climate where few investments are highly profitable, many institutions are hard-pressed to give up these energy holdings, according to Inside Higher Ed.