Fox News Declares War on AP History Classes

Folks, we clearly are witnessing the launch of a whole new right wing faux controversy. As Oklahoma and Texas appear ready to eliminate AP history classes in their schools, Fox News is now jumping on the bandwagon too. Andrea Tantaros cranked up her barely functioning brain stem and got all kinds of huffy about it.

Fox News host Andrea Tantaros on Thursday suggested that high school advanced placement (AP) history courses — and in fact, the entire Department of Education — should be cut because children were being taught “meaningless liberal crap.”

Earlier this week, Republicans on Oklahoma’s House Common Education Committee pushed through a bill that would slash funding for AP history courses. Conservative lawmakers argued that the current curriculum, which is required by the College Board, exposed too many of the county’s flaws — like slavery and the treatment of Native Americans.

“We don’t want our tax dollars going to a test that undermines our history,” GOP state Rep. Dan Fisher told the committee.

And by “meaningless liberal crap,” of course, she means things like facts and reality. All that’s left is for Rush Limbaugh to claim that AP history causes girls to become birth control-using sluts, Sean Hannity to claim that they were teaching the course in Benghazi and Glenn Beck to point out how he predicted this all years ago and we’ll have full-blown brouhaha on our hands.

“There really shouldn’t be public schools,” Fox News host Kennedy Montgomery opined on Thursday’s edition of Outnumbered. “I mean, we should really go to a system where parents of every stripe have a choice, have a say in the kind of education their kids get. Because when we have centralized bureaucratic education doctrines and dogmas like this, that’s exactly what happens.”

And let’s face it, she would know. After all, she is a former MTV Veejay.

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  • abb3w

    “We don’t want our tax dollars going to a test that undermines our history,” GOP state Rep. Dan Fisher told the committee.

    Shame culture versus guilt culture.

    Teaching about it does nothing to alter what happened and didn’t happen; it can only alter what people know about it.

  • Artor

    Ugh. I want off of this planet.

  • Deacon Duncan

    On the one hand, it’s both shameful and unsurprising that conservatives would be opposed to education (as distinct from indoctrination). On the other hand, they’re talking about getting rid of a public school system that is churning out graduates 50% of whom believe everything they see on Fox News. Maybe we should consider the question of whether or not we’re getting our money’s worth out of what we have now?

  • heddle

    For completely non-ideological reasons, simply as a university professor, I despise AP, at least in math and science. (Perhaps in the humanities it works better.) I do not think, for example, that a 4 on the AP calculus test, which at most places allows you to place out of first semester calculus, guarantees that you have anything close to the mastery that the actual first semester university course provides. I view the who AP system as little better than a revenue generation scheme. An unnecessary one. I believe all universities have a way of challenging a course–so show up before classes start and take an actual Calc-1 final. If you ace it, you get placed in calc 2. There would be no way to teach to the test in that system.

  • peterh

    “We don’t want our tax dollars going to a test that [reflects] our [true] history,”

  • Johnny Vector

    Heddle, do you have any numbers to back up your assertion?

  • StevoR

    Good thing Fox ain’t got no army nor air force nor navy.

  • heddle

    Johnny Vector,

    Heddle, do you have any numbers to back up your assertion?

    Yes, but it is from a 7-8 year old internal study related to combating high DWF (D grade, Withdrawal, F grade) rates which I don’t have with me and wouldn’t share if I did. So take it as an opinion. I’ve been teaching physics and math since the 90’s and advising freshmen so while this may be primarily anecdotal, it’s based on a large sample of anecdotes. Anyhow, I’m telling you why I don’t like AP in math and science. I’m not asking anyone to change their opinion. (By the way, roughly half the students who can place out chose not to. Many freshman advisees tell me: “I’d rather take Calc 1 again, even though I don’t have to.” Passing the AP test does not, in many cases, inspire self-confidence.)

    Remember this is a for-profit enterprise. Are you confident that their motivation is good pedagogy?

  • grumpyoldfart

    Uneducated Americans would be a boon to the world economy. There is always going to be a demand for stoop laborers and domestic servants.

  • raven

    “There really shouldn’t be public schools,” Fox News host Kennedy Montgomery opined ..

    That would be the end of the USA. Wave bye bye.

    We’ve had public schools for centuries. And the result is…our present country, USA 2015. The last tottering superpower, world’s largest economy, world leader in science, and so on. You don’t want to fix something unless it is broken.

    There are places with poor public schools and high levels of illteracy. We call those places…the Third World.

  • raven

    There are places with poor public schools and high levels of illteracy. We call those places…the Third World.

    I’m just going to say it.

    As a recent article stated, the Republican/Tea Party are America haters commiting treason against our future.

    1. We can’t run a complicated Hi Tech society without educated people. This is an important reason why we are a leading nation.

    2. The US spends roughly 1/3 of the world’s R&D budget on science, a causal reason why we are the leaders in science in the Age of Science.

    3. They shut down the government to keep a few million people from getting private health care insurance, the ACA is supposed to save money, not cost money.

    4. The main problem in the USA is growing economic inequality since 1970. The middle class is disappearing. Someday this will be the main story.

    When it gets too bad and too obvious the peasants can and will grab their pitchforks and torches and storm the castle. It happened in Iceland. It is happening now in Greece. Close to half of Greece is looking poverty right in the eye. They just elected a former commie as their leader with Syriza.

    I’m sure this could go on for pages but you get the idea.

  • raven

    Pewresearchcenter 2012

    Who Are the Unaffiliated? Demographically Broad-Based

    The growth of the unaffiliated has taken place across a wide variety of demographic groups. The percentage of unaffiliated respondents has ticked up among men and women, college graduates and those without a college degree, people earning $75,000 or more and those making less than $30,000 annually, and residents of all major regions of the country.

    1. There is a theory that the War Against America is being waged by fundie xians to keep their cults going. Religion historically thrives with poverty and illiteracy.

    The solution is obvious.

    More US poor and uneducated = more xians.

    They have to destroy the USA and the modern world to save their religion.

    2. Which as it turns out, isn’t working. The poor are leaving the xian religions just like everyone else. Some sources claim it is even faster.

    3. The fundies are merely useful idiots anyway. Who will gain from a Third World social structure are the ultra-rich oligarchies. It’s just the age old class warfare, and eveyone but the Koches and their allies are…losing.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    The media has not been paying attention. The real news not not that some very conservative members of state government want to get rid of AP History: the real news is what they want to replace it with.

    Republican Oklahoma Rep. Dan Fisher has proposed a bill that would yank state funding from the AP history course and develop a new advanced U.S. history curriculum based, in part, on three Reagan speeches.

    Fisher – a pastor who was elected in 2013 – lists texts he believes should be the focus of students’ educations. The “foundational and historical” texts the 10-page bill details include some obvious choices – the Constitution and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” for example – but it also emphasizes the Ten Commandments, two sermons, three speeches by Reagan, and President George W. Bush’s address to the nation after the 9/11 attacks.

    So yeah, this IS all about indoctrinating students.

  • Michael Heath

    My impression is that heddle’s correct when it comes to math. I didn’t start college until I was 24. So I took college algebra again in spite of easily acing math in high school. The college level courses were far more challenging than the equivalent of what I took in high school, especially in terms of the volume of the workload assigned.

    However I do empathize greatly with a primary motivation for taking AP math in high school. And that’s the fact that far too many colleges have unqualified instructors teaching at least lower-level college math courses. Both in terms of their inability to communicate and their lack of teaching skills. So not having to deal with that grief is understandable if the student can thrive in the next level college courses. It’d be interesting to see how well college students who bypass entry level college math courses do in the next level courses versus those though don’t.

  • colnago80

    Re Heddle @ #8

    I am totally unfamiliar with the AP system but back when I was in high school in California, there was an option for high school seniors to be given time off to take the first year calculus course at one of the university or state college campuses. Assuming they passed, they would get both college and high school credit. I guess this was an early AP option. One of the students in my high school class took Math 3a and 3b at UCLA which constituted the freshman calculus course.

  • colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #14

    The math department at Berkeley was notorious for poor teaching at the freshman/sophomore level, so that many students who planned to major in math went to a state college for their freshman/sophomore years in order to bypass the inferior courses at Berkeley.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed’s blog post title:

    Fox News Declares War on AP History Classes

    I think Fox News declared war on history at least by the year 2000. I didn’t know much about this channel prior to that year so perhaps the milestone was earlier or even when they began broadcasting.

    Instead I would describe their behavior here as a skirmish; though with potentially damaging child abuse to students in OK and TX, and not just particularly apt students.

    When we consider these sorts of efforts, it’s my opinion we focus too much on the horse race aspect of the culture war and far too little on the abuse suffered by children because of the actions of conservative Christians that are active participants in the Culture War and those conservative Christians who vote. So we tend to joke around and ridicule conservative Christians for their idiocy and dishonesty in public while failing to express a proportionate level of grief regarding the implications to the victims of their agenda and behavior.

  • howardhershey

    Perhaps someone should point out that the AP system was created by The College Board, which is NOT a government (at any level) agency, but a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 1900 by colleges to provide tests to assist colleges in admissions. Among other things, it produces the SAT, CLEP, and PSAT tests. Their main competitor is the ACT organization. Although it is a ‘non-profit’, there have been complaints of excessive profits and exorbitant executive salaries. One would think that Republicans should love such an organization.

  • heddle

    Michael Heath,

    It’d be interesting to see how well college students who bypass entry level college math courses do in the next level courses versus those though don’t.

    It is a tough comparison, because those who took AP and passed the test are not a random selection. The interesting comparison is those in calc 2 who placed out (from AP) and those who were in, say, the top 25% of the university’s calc 1.

    However I do empathize greatly with a primary motivation for taking AP math in high school. And that’s the fact that far too many colleges have unqualified instructors teaching at least lower-level college math courses.

    I am not sure that is a primary motivation–I doubt many high school students (or their parents or teachers) are actually worried about poor freshman instruction. To the extent that it is a problem, it will likely bite them by surprise. That said–I was lucky enough to have the best instructors in math and physics my freshman year (at Carnegie Mellon–a research university but a small one) As for us, at Christopher Newport (if you don’t know us you know one of our department’s graduates) we’re a liberal arts university sort of halfway between an R1 (research university) and a purely teaching college–and we absolutely do our best to staff introductory calculus and physics with the best teachers (our grad students are only allowed to teach labs). I think the problem you refer to is mainly a problem at large R1s.

    colnago80 ,

    there was an option for high school seniors to be given time off to take the first year calculus course at one of the university or state college campuses.

    I like that option much better–but of course it is not available to everyone.

  • Anne Fenwick

    It’s similar to the controversy over evolution, except that not as many intelligent people are likely to stand up to defend history well. The battle seems to be between different historical narratives, some of which are admittedly better than others by definable criteria, it’s notorious that American students are taught very little about historical methodologies and historiography even on undergraduate courses, and have very few tools to think critically about the discipline.

  • DrVanNostrand

    @19

    The problem Michael Heath mentioned is a HUGE problem at large research institutions. I went to UT-Austin and the early physics, chemistry, and calculus classes were abysmal. They were massive, several hundred person classes, that moved at a snail’s pace, but provided a decent amount of busywork. They were basically weedout classes to eliminate the people that shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I thank a nonexistent god that I was able to test out of many of them, because the ones I actually had to attend were an absurd waste of time. The case you’re describing is much different, but I’d argue my case is probably more common. I do agree that giving students the time to take courses at a local college is the much better option. An older friend of mine had taken a math class like that, so I asked my guidance counselor about it, and he basically told me to fuck off.

  • Jackson

    heddle,

    and we absolutely do our best to staff introductory calculus and physics with the best teachers (our grad students are only allowed to teach labs). I think the problem you refer to is mainly a problem at large R1s.

    My experience at a large R1 university was that the 1 hour, 3 times a week lectures by the professor were completely useless, and any learning that happened was from the graduate student TAs in the discussion sections.

  • theguy

    ““We don’t want our tax dollars going to a test that undermines our history,” American mythology.

    “we should really go to a system where parents of every stripe have a choice, have a say in the kind of education their kids get”

    Unless, presumably, the parents or students are gay or non-Christian.

    “Because when we have centralized bureaucratic education doctrines and dogmas like this, that’s exactly what happens.”

    Kids hear something they/their parents don’t want them to? That is one of the purposes of an education. It’s also a little something called life.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Look, if they want to control history, why don’t they just get jobs in the Ministry of Truth like the rest of us? As a joke, I once eliminated the word “Benghazi”. Sure, I had to go for an interview in Room 101, but the temporary lull was worth it.

  • brianl

    It’s not the launch, it’s the mainstreaming.

    It’s less that they want to destroy public education than they want to turn it into a means to extract public money for the gain of private companies (like every other privatization scheme).

    Thanks for the details about ACT and the AP racket. The piece you missed was the way AP courses play into admissions decisions. There was a time that completing them could seriously distort a student’s high school GPA so if you were a student who didn’t take them, you were at a significant disadvantage applying to competitive schools (I may be misremembering, but I seem to recall a year one school advertised they had only admitted students with a GPA higher than 4.0, meaning all their freshmen had taken AP course work). I’m not around undergrads, so I don’t know if that’s still the case, but there was certainly a period where taking AP was a way to put your GPA on steroids.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    abb3w

    Shame culture versus guilt culture.

    Great observation. I note that the states where honor culture is more prevalent seem to be the ones that have the most trouble with history classes that include exploration of unpleasant episodes.

  • Jackson

    @25 brianl,

    At my public high school (about 15 years ago), AP and IB courses where out of 5 points instead of 4. One wrinkle was that health and phys ed. were required classes, and there was no advanced version of it. If you wanted a shot at a decent class rank (lots of admissions weight class rank higher than actual GPA) you had to take health and gym in the summer as pass/fail so they would not be counted towards your GPA, and you could replace them with a class where an A would give you 5 instead of 4.

  • thebookofdave

    Andrea Tantaros either has never heard of George Santayana, or condemns him as one of those liberal elitists. But she can still modify one of his quotes to provide a complete right-wing AP history course:

    “Those who ignore the past are condemned encouraged to repeat it.”

  • felidae

    “We don’t want our tax dollars going to a test that undermines our history,” GOP state Rep. Dan Fisher told the committee.”–they don’t want tax dollars going to dispute their view of science either

    I wonder if I entered “stupid c*nt” into Google, would a picture of Andrea Tantaros pop up?

  • dogmeat

    I have spent most of my time as an educator teaching, and promoting, the AP program. While there is variation in how the classes are taught, when taught properly the courses align with 2nd/3rd year college classes. Regardless of college credit, the classes teach much higher level skills than most traditional classes including honors classes. The distinction points can be problematic, but they also encourage greater effort.

    I worked on standards and curriculum revisions both with AP and for the state, the process doesn’t really lend itself to ideological brainwashing which may be why the GOP hates it.

  • Matt G

    Ronald Reagan said it best: “Facts are stupid things”.

  • Michael Heath

    Matt G writes:

    Ronald Reagan said it best: “Facts are stupid things”.

    You’re quoting President Reagan inadvertently making a misspeaking. He meant to do a quip he’d been repeatedly stating in a speech, “Facts are stubborn things”.

    Cite: http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/081588b.htm.

  • Matt G

    Michael@32- Yes, but a Freudian slip if ever there was one. There was a book published of some of those “stubborn facts” which Reagan had a habit of getting wrong. And didn’t he do some wartime embellishIng of his own, a la Brian Wiiliams and Bill O’Reilly?

  • Ichthyic

    For completely non-ideological reasons, simply as a university professor

    Heddle, you’re full of shit, as usual.

    I went through those same AP courses, and taught the equivalent classes at the university level myself.

    Just like everywhere, what you learn in a course is not always consistent. AP courses are no different.

    again, like you usually do, you take your tiny, individual, very personal opinions, and attempt to conflate them as the whole of reality.

    why ANYONE puts up with your shit is beyond me.

  • Ichthyic

    You’re quoting President Reagan inadvertently

    still making excuses for your Mcarthyite puppet hero?

    the man who literally made a living out of ignoring facts for his own gain?

  • Ichthyic

    I like that option much better–but of course it is not available to everyone.

    it could be, if obama gets his way and everyone gets 2 free years of community college.

    or is community college insufficiently up to your required imaginary standards of education?

  • heddle

    Ichthyic,

    or is community college insufficiently up to your required imaginary standards of education?

    You’re such a fuck-head. What, licking PZ’s boots didn’t sate you today and you had to troll a perfectly reasonable and adult conversation?

  • colnago80

    Re Ichthyic @ #36

    At this remote date, I don’t recall whether the courses I cited @ #16 were given at community colleges in California. I am recalling a sample of 1 who took the freshman calculus course at UCLA. However, at least at that time, the freshman/sophomore math courses given at the various university campuses (e.g. UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, etc.) were also given at the state colleges (e.g. LA State, San Jose State, Fresno State, etc.).

  • anat

    In Washington State there is a program called Running Start that allows high school juniors and seniors to take classes in community college for dual credit – ie the classes count for both high school and college. To enter the program one must be able to place into college level English 101. It is a more intensive program than AP, as college classes tend to be, and juggling a schedule including some high school classes with some community college classes is a challenge on its own.

    As for AP credit, while most Washington public colleges allow one to skip the first calculus course with a 3 on AP calculus, Western Washington University only gives math elective credit, so one has to take their calculus class in any case. The AP credit serves for priority in admission (evidence for curriculum rigor) and for priority in registration for classes – without that many freshmen have trouble getting into required classes.

  • eric

    Heddle @8:

    Remember this is a for-profit enterprise. Are you confident that their motivation is good pedagogy?

    Actually it’s a not-for-profit…the exact same as most universities. So if you’re going to judge based on corporate structure, we should trust their motivation to good pedagogy exactly as much or as little as we trust the universities’. Also I would never trust your/an internal university study of it anyway, as the possibility of bias is very high – they are, after all, effectively competing with that university for tuition dollars. In that situation, one should obviously take a uni finding of “they don’t teach as well as we do” with a fairly large grain of salt. Thats like asking Pfizer to tell you who produces the best drugs, Pfizer or Roche – when you get back the expected answer, you don’t have a lot of confidence in it.

    In any event, the availabiilty of AP courses helps lower-income HS students get in to strong colleges and universities in the first place, because admissions offices pay attention to whether you take them. There’s no strict criteria and once you’ve taken a few, there may be only marginal or no admissions value in taking more. However, they do pay attention. See here. AP classes are a social leveler: a free (for the student) way for students from poorer or disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their odds of getting into a good college or university. It reduces the advantage some private HS’s may have in the admissions games because they are considered to have a standard value regardless of whether the school that offers it is public or private. Its no wonder the GOP hates them.

  • heddle

    Eric,

    Actually it’s a not-for-profit…the exact same as most universities. So if you’re going to judge based on corporate structure, we should trust their motivation to good pedagogy exactly as much or as little as we trust the universities’.

    Fair enough.

    Also I would never trust your/an internal university study of it anyway, as the possibility of bias is very high – they are, after all, effectively competing with that university for tuition dollars.

    That’s just bass-ackwards. For one thing, at the university level do you know what the state judges us most on? Four-year graduation rates. (Also a big factor for US News). There is big pressure on us to get students through the pipeline in four years. Placing students out of courses and making it easier for them to graduate does not hurt us, it helps us. If I had impure motives (i.e., just make the bean counters happy) I’d be arguing that we should lower the AP test threshold and get more students closer to the 120 hour requirement.

    And, completely contrary to your assertion, AP courses have no effect on our tuition–or it is so tiny as to be in the noise. Do you know how colleges work, at least in VA? We set the the full tuition (full time) rate at 12 hours. From 12 to 18 hours: same price. We require 120 hours (15 per semester on average) to graduate. The bottom line: (100 – epsilon) percent of students with AP credits take the same number of full-tuition semesters as all other students. They will either take one or two lighter semesters (but still full time tuition) or, given that they tend to be achieving students, simply take more electives and graduate with more than 120 hours.

    Additional pressure: you have to be a full time student to live on campus–and we require on-campus until senior year. Even more pressure: financial aid is affected if you do not enroll full time.

    Your argument that we are concerned about losing tuition money to AP is “not even wrong.”

    In any event, the availabiilty of AP courses helps lower-income HS students get in to strong colleges and universities in the first place, because admissions offices pay attention to whether you take them.

    I do not have a problem with AP courses, and they would still help students get into good schools. I have a problem with a certain score on the AP test placing you out of a course. Take the AP course–but then come and take (for example) the math department’s calc 1 final. If you can pass that (and why shouldn’t you if the AP course was successful, and we would prefer that you did get credit for calc 1?), then go to calc 2. If you can’t pass it, then it is better for you the student, not for us (how did you ever get that crazy idea?) to take calc 1.

    There would still be a benefit for having taken AP, in that if you pass the calc 1 final you are not just placed in calc 2: you receive three (actually 4 in our case) hours credit for the AP course–which clearly did its job. This is an advantage over a non AP student who challenges a course–they get credit for passing the course and meeting the requirement, but not for the hours.

    The bottom line is that the only adjustment that I am arguing for is that you convince the math department (in the example that I’ve been using) that you are ready for calc 2. Nothing should be automatic.

  • eric

    Heddle:

    That’s just bass-ackwards. For one thing, at the university level do you know what the state judges us most on? Four-year graduation rates. (Also a big factor for US News). There is big pressure on us to get students through the pipeline in four years.

    Okay, your ‘fair enough’ right back at you.

    I do not have a problem with AP courses, and they would still help students get into good schools. I have a problem with a certain score on the AP test placing you out of a course. Take the AP course–but then come and take (for example) the math department’s calc 1 final.

    I have little problem with that, as long as place-out tests take place during orientation week or during the regular school semester (i.e., do not require potential students to skip summer work days; that would again preference the wealthy over the poor).

  • Donnie

    I skipped down to comment, so I apologize if this has already been addressed:

    “There really shouldn’t be public schools,” Fox News host Kennedy Montgomery opined

    This is exactly the GOP platform of ignorance and stupidity. The GOP wants to destroyed the institution of public schools and replace it with ‘charter’ schools that receive receive public funding to line the pockets of good business people and skirt the public laws governing curriculum and oversight while pocketing money with minimal investment in teachers.

    The same reason the GOP is going after the post office. Privatize the post office so that business can make a profit off of the public while delivering minimal service and reducing oversight and regulation in order to increase profits.

  • dogmeat

    There would still be a benefit for having taken AP, in that if you pass the calc 1 final you are not just placed in calc 2: you receive three (actually 4 in our case) hours credit for the AP course–which clearly did its job. This is an advantage over a non AP student who challenges a course–they get credit for passing the course and meeting the requirement, but not for the hours.

    Heddle,

    One thing needs to be pointed out. If you’re granting credit for 4’s on the Calc-BC exam, you’re granting credit to students that many of the AP teachers I know feel didn’t do very well on the exam. I know AP Calc-BC teachers who consider it a failing year if all of their students who take the exam don’t score 5’s across the board. The normal pass rate on that exam nationally is in the mid 80% range. If you’re talking about credit for the Calc-AB class, my experience has been that those kids are often at lower skill levels in math. Some schools do AB and then BC and kids have to take both, others do BC for their upper level kids and AB for the kids that are border-line high achievers in math. My experience? I wouldn’t grant credit for AB and would only for 5’s in BC.

    To enter the program one must be able to place into college level English 101. It is a more intensive program than AP, as college classes tend to be, and juggling a schedule including some high school classes with some community college classes is a challenge on its own.

    Anat,

    If the AP course is structured properly, 100 level courses at most community colleges would be below the AP course in rigor. I taught social studies AP courses, and while the sample size is small (n=8); I had kids who took community college classes for one semester and then enrolled in my AP class second semester. I had them take my diagnostic that I gave at the beginning of the year, mid-year when they arrived, none of them scored above the average for the students who had done nothing more than my summer work and took the diagnostic in August. Remember, this was after a semester of community college instruction that covered the same content/standards and was allegedly at a higher level than my AP course. The kids in question all had transfer A’s from the community college. They did well in my course (A’s and B’s) and did okay on the AP test, from my data here, all passed, but they weren’t the rock stars they should have been had the community college course proven to be as rigorous as you argue.

  • colnago80

    Re Heddle @ #41

    Additional pressure: you have to be a full time student to live on campus–and we require on-campus until senior year.

    Not true at all Virginia university campuses. For instance, George Mason is known as a commuter’s school, especially for sophomores and above. It makes sense for most students at UVA, VPU, or James Madison for instance to live on campus because they live outside of commuting range. However, far more students at George Mason live within commuting distance, just because it draws heavily from the Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax Co. etc. area.