I've been thinking about some changes for the college.
Before we even start, a definition of some terms is required:
-a "course" or "subject" is what your character requests. Success means that the ability is raised from the curent level to the next one. A "course" is made up from one or more "lessons".
-a "lesson" is something like the base unit of the college system. It is the equivalent of 3xp. So every course is made up out of 1 to 4 lessons, depending on the current level of the ability to learn.
First I think about sending an email after successfully learning something, instead of the current system with different quest states. This way you'll always know exactly how many lessons you have used up.
Then, perhaps change it from completely computer based to a kind of mail order system for books/papers on the subject: You order the papers by email, phone, or maybe even directly from some trader like Akeem. Then next time you return to your haven, you find a stack of readable papers on your desk. Using (reading) them will trigger the stat increase.
Then I'm thinking about dropping the additional bloodloss, and instead making Int/Research more interesting in other ways.
First I think, I'll keep the scholarship ability as rhetoric for persuasion only, like it currently is in CE. That means, the research feat can either be used for something else, or is dependent on Int only.
So this leaves some choices for making the college more dependent on Int.
1) low int characters have to pay more money. These additional funds go into the requirements for more background reading, tutorials, additional exercise papers, whatever you can imagine.
2) The actual number of lessons you can take is based on your Int. Maybe 20 lessons plus five per dot in Int. Problem with this simple approach is that the 5th dot in Int costs 16 xp, and 5 lessons only return 15. So unless you need high Int for something else, it's wasted.
Though that problem can be overcome by an occult item that rises Int. Maybe as a reward from Strauss for a mini quest after the gargoyle, if you don't rat him out to Isaak...
3)You have to pass a test on the subject, before you can successfully increase your ability. Then the money would be the test fee. The result would be randomly decided, with better chances for higher Int. Failure wouldn't mean loosing the lessons, but the money is gone. And you either have to repeat the test (with a bonus on the chance, because you already know what to expect), or you can select something else (without a bonus on the test).
Further ideas/comments are welcome.