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Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

Anya Kamenetz
$14.95 US • $16.45 CAN • Paperback ISBN 9781603582346 5 3/8 x 8 3/8 • 208 pages -

Pub Date: April 2010

A fascinating and provocative book.

— John Merrow, Education Correspondent, Merrow PBS NewsHour, and President, Learning Matters, Inc. NewsHour

The old system of higher education, unchanged for a century, is crumbling. Technology and innovation are knocking down the ivy-covered walls. What’s taking their place? Pulitzer nominee and Fast Company staff writer Anya Kamenetz examines where we’ve been and where we’re going in one of the most important call-to-arms of the decade: DIY U. U For 20 years, the price of college tuition increased more than any other major good or service. Nine out of 10 American high school seniors want to go to college, yet the U.S. has fallen from world leader to only the tenth most educated nation. Graduating students are often greeted not with jobs and picket-fences, but with unprecedented levels of federal and private student loan debt. Our choice is clear: radically change the way higher education is delivered, or resign ourselves to never meeting this most basic demand. Part how-to manual for parents and students, part treatise on modern education and society - DIY U describes a new style of education – something much lighter, more permeable, and fluid. DIY U gives the big picture, daring to envision an education system for the new millennium.

Kamenetz shows us ‘higher education’ as a crumbling facade. It doesn’t work well or deliver on its promise. Meanwhile, a thousand alternative flowers are beginning to bloom and the means for any of us to educate ourselves have become available. Let’s get on with it. — James Marcus Bach, author of Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar

Anya Kamenetz is a staff writer for Fast Company magazine. The Village Voice nominated her for a Pulitzer Prize for contributions to the feature series Generation Debt, which became a book Debt in 2006. She has written for the New York Times, appeared on CNN and National Public Radio, and been featured as a “Yahoo Finance Expert.” A frequent speaker nationwide, Kamenetz blogs at, The Huffington Post, and She lives in Brooklyn with her husband. Digital Press Kit:

Advance Praise for
By Anya Kamenetz


“. . . a huge talent.”
—Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics

“Anya Kamenetz offers a thoughtful and much-needed call to rethink higher education in a world of spiraling tuition costs, a 50 percent college drop-out rate and a growing understanding that the one-size-fits-all college model is broken. According to Kamenetz, it’s high time to put student learning at the center of the educational process. This book is not only a smart and forward-thinking look at new and exciting trends in self-directed higher learning, it’s also a smart resource guide for students and their families anxious to take their education into their own hands”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“A vibrant democracy depends on vibrant education. Anya Kamenetz shows a way to shake up education to release more potential at every level. The transition won’t be easy for institutions mired in the past, but students will have more—and better—options in a world in which knowledge increasingly must bypass gatekeepers and find new paths.”
—Naomi Wolf, bestselling author of The End of America and Give Me Liberty

“Anya Kamenetz brilliantly reveals the illogic and wasteful inequities of America’s blind faith in higher education. Her book will be devastating for older people who still believe one more graduate degree is the road to personal success and a prosperous economy. Younger people will feel relief that someone has finally told the truth about their predicament. Kamenetz offers a radically different way to think about the future and she gives young people a more rational and promising way to think about theirs.”
—William Greider, author of Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country, and National Affairs Correspondent for The Nation

Pub Date April 2010 • ISBN: 9781603582346 • $14.95US • 5 3/8 x 8 3/8 Paperback • Current Events/Education

Questions for Anya Kamenetz
What is the “transformation” that will be happening to higher education? Why does it need transforming? How can someone figure out if the college path they are considering makes sense for their life goals? What innovations in higher education do you find most exciting? Should it be public policy to get every 18 year old go to college? Which career paths are best served by the more-traditional model of higher education and which by the newly emerging models? Are there areas of study that simply can’t exist outside of a traditional college structure? What’s in it for educators? If a professor starts incorporating social networking technology into their teaching, are they hastening the demise of their career? Will administrators and instructors at traditional universities and colleges be a reactionary force trying to stop the evolution of the system, or will they be a force for positive contribution? To what extent does the higher education system need to adapt to a changing economy, and to what extent does the economy need to adapt to changing education, for example employers learning to respect the skills of job candidates who have pursued non-traditional learning paths? Who do you think will benefit most from reading and understanding your book, students trying to decide their next step? Parents trying to come to terms with their child’s non-traditional choice? Or policy makers and administrators at traditional colleges trying to make decisions that will attract incoming students?

Story Ideas
o o o o o o o o

Rejected from college? 21st century ways for students to chase their dreams. Acceptance letters are now a problem: traditional universities and their skyrocketing tuitions. Social media and higher-ed: not just for procrastinators anymore. Technology and its new dynamic role in education. Distance education: solution or fad? Online universities: scam or eHarvard? Broad discussions on the direction of higher-ed in the 21st century. Education “on the cheap” for empty nesters or returning students.

Recent Press for DIY U
In print and online: GOOD Magazine The American Prospect Salon kamenetz_diyu_interview Fast Company Chronicle of Higher Education New York Magazine PSFK YPulse Video: CNBC Radio: WNYC with Brian Lehrer The Takeaway

Kamenetz doesn’t advocate leaving the university behind, but she envisions a future where the 80 percent of American college students who attend non-selective schools… create their own personalized course of study. – Jed Lipinski,

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