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Malformed Campus News

Importance
1
Millennials Are Feeling Better About Their Finances
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Apr 21, 2015
“At a time when Americans are shouldering a crippling $1.2 trillion in student debt, it comes as no surprise that paying for higher education is the biggest financial concern for parents with children who are younger than 18 and planning to go to college. It may be more of a surprise that the young adults so often burdened with those loans now feel better about their finances than people in any other age group. In a new Gallup poll released this week, 73 percent of parents with kids below age 18 ranked paying for college as a financial worry — more than said they were concerned about saving enough for retirement and covering medical expenses. Parents “face twin challenges of paying for ever-escalating college expenses for one or more children and saving for their own retirement,” Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones wrote in a blog post detailing the survey results.”
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Importance
1
Strauss: Five flaws with college financial aid letters
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Apr 10, 2015
“College acceptances — and rejections — are now out and millions of students are trying to figure out how they are going to afford to go to college. Complicating that effort are financial aid letters sent from colleges, which can be so confusing as to be indecipherable. For help making sense of these important letters is Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of Edvisors.com, a web site about planning and paying for college. He is also co-author of the bestselling book, “Filing the FAFSA,” which is available for free download at www.edvisors.com/fafsa-book.Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
5 Steps to File a Student Loan Complaint
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Apr 08, 2015
“Michael Gill-Branion was struggling to get consistent information about his student loan repayment options. As he worked to find an affordable repayment plan, he was surprised to see that his wife's name was included on his federal loans, which had previously been in default. He ended up filing a complaint with the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group, where he discovered that he may be able to apply for income-based repayment. Borrowers can turn to several federal agencies in order to resolve problems with borrowing or repaying student loans.”
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Importance
1
Loan recipients on 'strike' meet with federal officials
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Mar 31, 2015
“WASHINGTON (AP) — Pamela Hunt is so overwhelmed by her $56,000 in student loans for what she considers a worthless criminal justice master's degree that she's joined others on a "debt strike" and refusing to pay back the money.”
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Importance
1
Debunking Myths About the U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Mar 27, 2015
“Each spring, after college admissions letters have been mailed, U.S. News sees an uptick in visitors to the Best Colleges rankings. High school seniors and their parents turn to our website to research tuition, financial aid resources, academic life and all of the other information we gather on 1,800 colleges and universities nationwide. One parent recently wrote: "After reading through the ("Best Colleges" guidebook), my daughter has seriously started considering a gap year and knows that a small liberal arts college is probably best for her. I also like that there are regional and state rankings since she has very particular ideas about where she wants to live while she studies.”
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Importance
1
This Tech Flop Is Hurting Our Student Loan Programs
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Mar 24, 2015
“The Department of Education’s massive computer system that stores data for more than 40 million Americans with student loans is so outdated and slow it can’t track how many people are actually enrolled in the government’s loan forgiveness and repayment programs. In January, the Department of Education said the Obama administration’s income-based repayment plans would cost about $22 billion more than originally anticipated. Originally, people could qualify if they took out loans after October 2007 and continued borrowing through 2011 – but President Obama recently expanded the program to borrowers who took out loans even before that. Yet the department’s data system has not been able to keep pace.”
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Importance
1
Students Skipping Loan Payments Aren't Deadbeats—They're Giving College an F
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Mar 19, 2015
“Like civil rights protesters marching against an entire police force, an ongoing David-versus-Goliath confrontation between a small group of protesters and the U.S. Department of Education has the potential to inspire a movement and prompt change. They say Corinthian strong-armed them into taking the loans, swindled them out of classes and books, and lied about job placement—all while the Department of Education looked the other way and ignored blatant fraud.”
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Importance
1
Must-Know Facts About Obama's Student Aid Bill of Rights
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Mar 18, 2015
“Last week, the Obama administration announced another series of initiatives to help students and families manage their student loan debt. Some are plans that can and will move forward right away, but others are suggestions for regulatory and legislative changes that may or may not happen. In some cases, the borrower doesn't understand the restrictions that student loan laws and regulations put on loan holders. The Department of Education has tried to improve those stats for federally held loans by connecting customer service survey results with student loan volume awarded to its servicers.”
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Importance
1
Facing pressure to increase class size, GW revamps admitted students days
by The GW Hatchet

Apr 20, 2015
“Media Credit: Judy Lim | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Dean of Admissions Karen Felton takes a selfie with two students at one of the admitted students days.
Updated: April 20, 2015 at 7:23 p.m.
When newly admitted students walk onto campus this month, they will be greeted by cookies to eat with milk in wine glasses, brightly colored lanyards, buff-and-blue buttons and dessert tables filled with lemon squares, cake pops and lemonade.
The University revamped admitted students days this year to give students and their parents a more upscale experience, a move experts say could seal the deal for undecided students coming to campus. The number of April visit days also increased to five, and the program was rebranded as "Inside GW" — giving students and parents a glimpse into life in Foggy Bottom.
The upgrades come after officials increased the University's acceptance rate to 45 percent, the highest in a decade, in a move to potentially create a larger freshman class and bring in more revenue. A larger freshman class, which could grow by about 150 to 200 students, could also help alleviate the University-wide budget crunch.
Officials also divided students and parents into specialized sessions for the first time, giving them more opportunities for face time with administrators and potential classmates. Sessions for parents included topics like financial aid and career services, where parents texted questions to administrators.
Meanwhile, students toured classrooms, listened to sample lectures from professors and attended a “speed mingle” event with current and other prospective students. The University also created a phone app for students and parents to look up the day’s scheduled events.
Experts say the glitzier set of admitted students days could help the University increase its yield rate, the percentage of students who commit to GW after being admitted. As students have increasingly applied to more schools nationwide, it becomes harder for officials to predict where they will end up – but getting that estimation right is key at GW as officials look to grow revenue from tuition.
Dean of Admissions Karen Felton said in an email that the University changes the programs for accepted students each year based on survey results. She said students and parents were split up this year so they could “get the most out of the day in ways that are meaningful to their individual perspective.”
Media Credit: Judy Lim | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Major changes have been made this month to admitted students days with the intention of appealing to more undecided students.
Felton said the programs have always offered breakfast, lunch and snack options for prospective students and their families, but this year’s added food options are “a way to offer more variety and choices.” She declined through a spokeswoman to say how much officials spent on the admitted students days.
Colleges across the country are becoming more competitive in their efforts to draw in students, said Mark Montgomery, a college application and admissions consultant.
“You bring the kids on campus and wine them and dine them and take them on a booze cruise,” he said. “Whatever it takes to make that school look more attractive than the others. Eighteen year olds can be bought. They’re unsophisticated consumers.”
Montgomery said a high yield rate can also boost a college’s overall ranking, a statistic universities use to help attract funding for research, new buildings or other large projects.
"Every single chocolate mousse is worth it. Every kid sitting at that dessert bar is the financial health of the university," he said.
A 2013 study by the University of Nebraska found that an in-person visit to the campus was the most influential factor for a student when picking which college to attend, more so than visiting a college’s website or meeting with a guidance counselor about potential colleges.
Anna Fabiano, who walked through the Marvin Center with her son, took the opportunity to speak with current students and ask about upcoming campus construction projects. Fabiano said she found the day's schedule gave her a good feel for campus.
“There was never a moment where help wasn’t available,” Fabiano said.
Shadman Chowdhury, a high school senior from Long Island who was admitted into the School of Engineering and Applied Science, said his visit helped solidify his interest in GW.
“I liked the parents' separation because it gave me more reason to see what I want to,” he said. “And I liked how they balanced it out between academics and social stuff.”
This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
In a photo caption, The Hatchet incorrectly called Karen Felton the director of admissions. Her title is dean of admissions. We regret this error.”

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Importance
1
Justin Peligri: Stop scorning my college degree
by The GW Hatchet

Apr 20, 2015
“Media Credit: Cartoon by Brandon Lee
In less than a month, I’ll join the 40 percent of Americans who have earned at least a two-year college degree.
But that statistic – just two in every five Americans – means there are more of us without a college diploma than with one.
There’s nothing wrong with not going to college: Millions of people from across the country will choose alternate ways to spend their time between the ages of 18 and 22, and many won't be privileged enough to even have that choice. I can perfectly understand why someone would not to go to college – even if it wasn't the route I personally took.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
Justin Peligri
There is, however, something very wrong when a neutral fact of life – that some people attend college – is belittled in the form of a political talking point, which I’ve seen echoed across cable news recently.
"That's the kind of elitist, government-knows-best, top-down approach we've had for years," potential presidential candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said in a recent Fox News interview. He was responding to those who have pointed out that he dropped out of college 34 credits short of a diploma.
"I'd rather have a fighter who's proven he can take on the big government interests and win,” he said.
Why does Walker think you can’t be a “fighter” while also having a college degree? When did political acumen and book smarts become mutually exclusive?
I’ve seen practically every role model of mine, politically or otherwise, speak on campus. When Hillary Clinton and Anderson Cooper came, I sat in the front row for both. GW offers students the opportunity to learn about the world from the people who have helped shape it, and I look up to these people. That’s why it’s discouraging to hear political figures disparage my education and its value.
As graduation approaches, I find myself wondering whether these four years have been worth it – without the help of politicians calling that into question for me, too.
In the end, I’ve realized academia’s inherent value: College has gifted me with a chance to find out what I love and hate about learning. It has given me the opportunity to do some intellectual soul-searching so the career I eventually end up in is one that I am passionate about, as opposed to one that I fell into without purpose or strategy.
As a proud future diploma-toter, I find anti-intellectualist comments problematic because they send the wrong message to college graduates. It seems to implicitly say that being attuned and informed isn’t important. For what it’s worth, this isn’t a voting bloc that should be ignored: Nearly 23 million people between the ages of 18 and 29 cast a ballot in 2012, making up about 19 percent of the electorate.
There’s a difference between sharing your views about the size of government and conflating political philosophy with shaming academia. It’s clear that Walker was doing the latter. It’s going to be a long 18 months until the 2016 election if that is the kind of superficial rhetoric presidential candidates intend to spout.
Again, I’m not here to criticize those who don’t go to college. After all, attending college is not a part of every person's upbringing. Sixty-two percent of people with degree-holding parents say college is essential, but only 46 percent of people with non-degree-holding parents say the same, according to a 2014 College Board survey.
People with college degrees boast salaries $17,500 larger on average than their peers with only high school diplomas – but the cost of college is so exorbitant that many are justifiably scared away by the idea of paying off student loans throughout their adulthood.
Even today, not all professions demand a college degree. But that doesn’t mean there’s harm in the professions that do, or the people who choose to pursue them. And as a college student, I can’t cast a vote for a candidate who thinks there is.
Walker isn’t the only candidate unfairly critical of the value in academia and learning. A staggering number of candidates – Jeb Bush and Chris Christie among them – have voiced some iteration of the phrase “I don’t read The New York Times.”
People who can’t afford the Times’ monthly subscription fee have an excuse. But newsflash: If you’re a major candidate running for a major election, you ought to read what a major newspaper has to say about you and your competitors.
Sure, there’s a potentially valid argument about the left-of-center persuasion of the paper’s editorial board. But it’s also one of the foremost news sources in this country and is frequently cited in academic journals. It’s what I, as an aspiring journalist, have been taught in journalism classes to appreciate as the gold standard.
And that’s why it’s mind-boggling to me when candidates flout the paper because they think it’ll score them points on Election Day. (“Anti-intellectualism is the new black,” bemoaned a fellow GW student in a recent Twitter conversation he and I were having about this topic.)
So if there’s one thing I can share with my fellow graduates, it would be this: Your degree matters – and so does being informed on current events – even if it isn’t exactly clear yet how you’ll pay off your student loans. That’s the same sort of message I’d like our politicians to spread – without, of course, going too far in the other direction and criticizing those without a degree or those who aren’t attuned to every current news story.
Deriding the value of intellectualism shouldn’t score politicians any points among the college crowd, especially as graduation nears.
Justin Peligri, a senior majoring in political communication, is a Hatchet senior columnist. Want to respond to this piece? Submit a letter to the editor.”

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