This page has resources to get you started on the specific topics you've chosen. Use the links in the table of contents area (left margin) to go to specific topics.
Use the resources directly below, under Education, to find some background and stats about education in general. Below are some items that are more specific to the question about textbooks and their costs. This includes the option of open educational resources (OER), or open access textbooks.
This app and program tries to help students make new connections on campus, especially social life connections.
Below are a couple articles I found that could be useful. Searching for articles was more difficult than I anticipated, because so many articles focus more on creating connections in the more pedagogical, or learning, setting, rather than the social setting. But Education Source Complete is probably the best database to search.
Below are links to several articles from the local NPR affiliate, WUWM, by their environmental reporter Susan Bence. They have good local news coverage.
Below are links to relevant Marquette webpages ...