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Importance
1
Strauss: Bill Cosby’s alma mater cuts ties with besieged entertainer
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Nov 28, 2014
“The University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where Bill Cosby was awarded a doctorate  more than 35 years ago, has asked him to resign as an honorary co-chair of  the school’s capital campaign. Cosby agreed to step down. The action comes after at least two other universities took action to sever ties with Cosby, who has been accused by numerous women of drugging and sexually assaulting them years ago. Berklee College of Music in Boston, where Cosby was awarded an honorary degree a decade ago, announced that it would no longer award a scholarship in Cosby’s name, and High Point University in North Carolina has removed him from its national board of advisers, the Boston Globe reported. Cosby was awarded a Ph.D. in education in 1977 at the the University of Massachusetts at Amherst school after completing his thesis titled “An Integration of the Visual Media Via Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972) into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning.” The awarding of the doctorate  — through an unconventional  program for successful professionals who could earn credit through work — became controversial after a former member of his doctoral thesis committee wrote that Cosby did little course work toward his doctorate and was awarded credit for doing things such as appearing on Sesame Street. The besieged Cosby had been serving as an honorary co-chair of the university’s current $300 million fundraising campaign, but that relationship has now been severed.  Ed Blaguszewski, executive director of news and media relations for the university, sent the following statement in an e-mail late Thursday: Read full article >>”
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Importance
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Degrees of Education: Student Debt: A Calculator Focused on College Majors
by NYT > Education

Nov 20, 2014
“Most college graduates earn enough to repay their student loans. The bigger problem is that they’re asked to do so when they are earning the least.”
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Importance
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Federal immigration actions pose questions for colleges about undocumented students
by Education: DC Area Education News, Education Policy, School Information - The Washington Post

Nov 20, 2014
“New federal measures to halt deportation of many illegal immigrants will spotlight a question of growing urgency for colleges: How should they handle applications from undocumented students for admissions and financial aid? Read full article >>”
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Importance
1
How Student Loan Repayment Changes After Graduate School
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Nov 12, 2014
“After Becky Boler graduated from Syracuse University with a master's degree in international relations in 2010, her student loans came due with a vengeance.”
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Importance
1
5 Questions to Ask Financial Aid Counselors at U.S. Colleges
by Education News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Nov 05, 2014
“When applying to U.S. colleges, it is critically important that international students understand the financial aid policies at different schools. The best way to get all of the information is by asking the financial aid counselors directly.”
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Importance
1
Close to Home Scholarship Builds Strong UConn Tie
by UConn Today

Nov 16, 2014
“Second-year student and scholarship recipient Calvin Ng feels he has a special bond with UConn.
...”

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Importance
1
GW's signature cost-cutting program holds back on unveiling new ideas
by The GW Hatchet

Dec 04, 2014
“Media Credit: Anna McGarrigle | Senior Designer
GW will not unveil a new round of cost-saving ideas through the Innovation Task Force this month, marking the first semester that the program has not vetted programs to boost the University's bottom line since its launch five years ago.
Instead, administrators plan to focus on implementing the ideas that they haven’t yet brought to fruition, Provost Steven Lerman said in an interview this week. With more than 70 ideas already in the pipeline, GW will be able to reach its goal of identifying $60 million in new revenue or savings by next year, he said.
Still, just $27 million was ready to put back into the GW's budget this year.
“We had accumulated a lot of ideas and there was a danger of having so many ideas that you can’t follow through on all of them,” Lerman said. “It was a good time to do some consolidation and to really move some of the ideas that were in process faster to implementation.”
Dave Lawlor, who led the program since its inception , stepped down in October to take a position at the University of California, Davis. Lerman said Lawlor had suggested not to introduce another round of ideas before he left.
Since the program's launch, the University has held an event each semester to present the newest phase of ideas, and Lerman said that Lawlor’s departure made it an “even better decision” not to hold a round this fall.
With each new phase, it had become more challenging for officials to introduce more sweeping plans. The first round created the most cost savings in the program’s history, and each subsequent round has saved less money for the University.
Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo
The Innovation Task Force presented new cost-saving ideas each semester, as former chair Dave Lawlor (above) did last spring. But no presentation will be held this fall. Instead, the ITF will focus on rolling out more ideas which have already been announced.
GW has introduced contests for students, faculty and staff to earn scholarships and other prizes for pitching the best cost-saving ideas. Last spring, two students earned $50,000 scholarships for their ideas, which were included in the most recent phase.
Some ITF initiatives, like launching new programs for student veterans, have taken a few years to get off the ground, while others, like giving up apartments at Columbia Plaza, were realized within a semester.
Meghan Chapple, the director of the Office of Sustainability, was named the ITF’s new co-chair in October. Before leading the task force, she had championed one of its ideas: launching a certificate program for students looking to work in the sustainability field.
“New ideas are continually accepted through the established programs, and new initiatives will be announced next semester,” she said in a statement.
University President Steven Knapp launched the project to allow GW to hire new faculty and offer financial aid from a new source of funding, rather than dipping into the endowment annually.
But the University scaled back its expectations for the ITF last year. Officials had overestimated how much money would be pulled in through the initiative, and they decided not to count $25 million as new funds for GW.
Members of the Faculty Senate were last briefed on the task force’s progress in spring 2013, and many members said they hadn’t recently received any updates.
“My understanding is they have been successful, but I’m not really sure what specific ideas have been successful or what ideas are in the pipeline,” said Charles Garris, the chair of the senate’s executive committee.
Colleen Murphy contributed reporting.”

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Importance
1
Islamic studies director raises money for top recruits to enroll
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 24, 2014
“Media Credit: Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer
Mohammad Faghfoory, the director of GW's Islamic studies program, has raised about $500,000 in the past three years to fund master's students who otherwise could not afford to enroll in the program.
Fatemeh Nasrollahi, a student in the master's in Islamic studies program, wasn’t sure he’d be able to afford GW’s steep tuition when he was deciding where to enroll in graduate school.
But program director Mohammad Faghfoory had planned ahead: Faghfoory has fundraised independently to help bring in more money to his department and sway top recruits to come to GW.
“I really doubted whether this would be doable, or I'd better say affordable. GW is an expensive institution,” said Nasrollahi, who received $4,270 for his first academic year. “Dr. Faghfoory could, finally, get some fellowship for us. And that really affected my decision.”
Faghfoory started courting donors to support the program, which was launched about two years ago, when he said he grew tired of his top applicants not being able to afford GW. He’s so far helped students to earn fellowships that complement their financial aid.
He has reached out to his own network of family and friends, asking for donations to increase the scholarship pool he could offer students. And it's worked: In the past three years, Faghfoory has raised about $500,000 to grow his program and support students looking to enroll.
Since he’s raising money for the program on his own, Faghfoory can use the donations for however the funds could benefit the program. But he plans to use most of it for financial relief to lure top students to the $1,490-per-credit-hour program.
He said he hopes that by bringing in more money for financial aid on his own, the University might also match or increase its contributions to student aid, Faghfoory said.
“Many schools welcome that kind of idea because tuition that the school gives is not something that it gets from its own pocket,” says Faghfoory. “It deducts from its income, but in return it attracts a lot of funds and more students who can at least pay half of the tuition from this fund.”
Without a broad alumni base, Faghfoory has asked relatives, former colleagues and members of the Muslim community for gifts. He hasn’t been able to travel to Muslim countries, like Iraq or Iran, where there are potential donors as much as he’d like because of political turmoil in the region.
Parisa Sajjadi, who is in her first semester at GW, said she also wouldn’t be able to afford tuition because the rial, Iran’s currency, doesn’t compare well to the U.S. dollar. With GW’s aid and the program’s package, she received about $4,700 for her first year at GW.
“I wouldn’t be able to afford my tuition and all of the expenses,” she said. “It would be very hard for a person like me, whose currency in comparison with the dollar is not good.”
Several departments use their own networks to bring in donations each year, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said. She added that Faghfoory understood how to take advantage of individual and alumni networks.
The University doles out financial aid to graduate departments based on the financial aid office's review of each program’s applicant pool, Csellar said. GW gave $233 million in financial aid to undergraduates and graduate students last year.
“Graduate students are routinely supported by a number of sources including GW-funded fellowships, externally funded scholarships and research," Csellar said. "All of these sources are important parts of our effort to build strong doctoral and master's programs."
Faghfoory has also used $80,000 of the funds he’s brought in to purchase a set of 3,500 volumes for Gelman Library, meant to be used in the program's courses. The University contributed about $20,000 for that collection.
Tim Winkler, chief executive officer of fundraising firm the Winkler Group, said it’s not typical for professors to do their own fundraising, but that reaching out to individual donors in a personal way is proven to be successful.
Contacting potential donors who are directly interested in the field of study, like how Faghfoory has travelled to the Middle East to raise money, is considered the best strategy, Winkler said.
“The more he can include donors to the process and make himself accessible and make the donor involved, the more they might be willing donate,” he said.”

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Importance
1
Kirby Dzurny: Don't give in to the pressure to study abroad
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 18, 2014
“Media Credit: Cartoon by Juliana Kogan
It’s that time of year again: Sophomores are planning for study abroad.
More than half of all GW undergraduates will study in a different country during their time here, and the number of students going abroad has steadily increased since 2001.
In a community that is constantly pressuring students to go overseas, we aren’t always informed about the negatives. I’ve come to realize that we only get a few years at GW, and this is not the time to leave.
Living in another country for three to nine months can have long-lasting consequences once you return – a lesson I learned the hard way.
When I was in high school, I studied abroad twice. My first experience was for a few weeks in Suwa, Japan my freshman year. The second time, I decided to spend my entire junior year living with a host family in Nanjing, China. While my immersion was difficult because of language and cultural barriers, it was nothing compared to the shock I experienced when I came home.
Back in the U.S., I found it difficult to relate to the people I had missed most, which left me feeling frustrated and lonely for months after I’d returned.
It’s common for students coming home from abroad to experience frustration, anger, loneliness, confusion or a sense of distance from their American friends and family. Though this is only temporary, it can last up to a year after an abroad experience.
Suddenly, you may feel held back by reverse culture shock during one of the most important times of college: the second half of junior year and senior year.
This is the best time to build relationships with professors and make connections as you apply for internships, take on a leadership role in a student organization or start looking for a post-graduation job. When you return home, reverse culture shock can make catching up even more difficult.
For many students, study abroad is a valuable part of GW’s culture. Some say it was one of the reasons they decided to enroll here, since the University has 300 programs from which to choose, in over 60 countries. And studying in a different country of course can be beneficial: You gain travel experience, and depending on your major and location, can boost your résumé to stand out in the job market.
But if you’re paying tuition for an expensive, prestigious institution, you might as well attend it. It’s highly unlikely that you will receive a better education in a different country, anyway. International students come to the U.S. for a high-quality education, and it doesn’t make sense that some American students want to do the opposite.
And if you do choose to study abroad, you’ll still need to pay full tuition. That doesn’t include the program fee, which can easily cost thousands of dollars .
Granted, the University has tried to make studying abroad more affordable: It has created a few different scholarship opportunities for students, like the GW Blog Abroad Scholarship and the GW Commitment to Community Scholarship.
But you need all four years to fully take advantage of living in D.C. Each neighborhood – Georgetown, Adams Morgan, Friendship Heights, to name a few – offers a unique cultural experience.
The District is much more than just a political city. Whether you’re looking to further your career or open your mind to other cultures and new experiences, or both, this city is the place to be.
If you’re excited about studying abroad, I’m not trying to stand in your way. But for those of you on the fence who are unsure if study abroad is right for you, it’s important that you examine the drawbacks.
It isn’t a bad idea for everyone, but most of us should go overseas another time. Go on vacation after you graduate, take a trip for a short-term summer program or take a class that allows you to go abroad during spring break. You could even do an Alternative Break, which organizes service trips abroad if you’re looking for a taste of a different culture.
When it comes to your remaining semesters, though, stay here. Stay connected to your friends and your school for the short time you’re at GW. You won’t get another chance.
Kirby Dzurny, a sophomore majoring in international affairs and creative writing, is a Hatchet opinions writer.”

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Importance
1
For senior, taking local seat means serving lifelong neighbors
by The GW Hatchet

Nov 10, 2014
“Media Credit: Kiana Robertson | Hatchet Photographer
Senior Markus Batchelor won a seat on one of Ward 8’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. Batchelor, a D.C. native, ran on a platform that included helping residents find affordable housing.
Southeast-bred senior Markus Batchelor wants to make sure his lifelong neighbors have a place at the table.
Batchelor was elected last week to serve on one of Ward 8’s Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, representing a part of Southeast D.C. that's facing re-development and one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
He ran on a platform to find new housing for the residents of Berry Farm, one of the first settlements for former slaves after emancipation. He said the city will soon tear down the housing project building, and that his first goal is to make sure those people have a place to stay.
“My largest responsibility is making sure current residents are included and not displaced,” he said.
He added that he’s also focused on the new St. Elizabeth’s development, a complex in Southeast D.C. that will include housing, office space and a shopping center, which he said will “transform the community.”
Batchelor, who is taking a semester off and living at home, said he chose to run for a spot on the ANC because he brings multiple perspectives to the group as someone who has lived in Ward 8, the Mount Vernon Campus and Foggy Bottom.
ANCs, advisory boards assigned to a section of each of the city's eight wards, listen to neighbors' complaints about issues like noise, trash and construction. Each commissioner represents a portion of the neighborhood, and will often work closely with residents to pass their concerns on to city agencies.
Batchelor, who was born and raised in D.C., said many of the skills he’ll use in the next two years, like the ability to form connections with a diverse constituency, come from what he learned as a Student Association senator his sophomore year at GW.
He said during his time as a senator, he looked to give multicultural student organizations a “fair share” when the SA doled out money for events. As vice chair of the student life committee, he said he worked closely with then-SA President Ashwin Narla.
“I was excited to be in the middle of the fight for more student space on campus,” he said.
But Batchelor’s got his start in local politics long before his SA senate stint. His freshmen year of college, Batchelor became the national president of the D.C. Statehood Student Association, a group that advocates for making the District the nation's 51st state.
In April 2012, Batchelor and three other GW students were arrested after sitting in the middle of an intersection near the Capitol building during a demonstration.
Batchelor said he was able to win on Election Day because of the strong ties he’s made in the community and the support of some of his friends at GW, who donated over $1,000 to his campaign. Batchelor won the election with 48 percent of the vote, a victory of more than 8 percentage points over his opponent.
In 2011, Batchelor was one of nine students to receive the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship, which gives D.C. natives full rides to attend GW.
Kheri Freeman, the president of the Black Student Union, said she became friends with Batchelor during their freshman year, after bonding over their love of politics. Freeman, who donated $25 to Batchelor’s campaign, said Batchelor’s strengths as a commissioner will come from living in the area for years.
“He really knows what the problems are and the things that need to be handled immediately,” she said. “He’s very proactive and passionate.”
After serving as an SA senator, Batchelor went on to work on the Ward 8 redistricting committee.
L. Yvonne Moore, who spent 20 years as a commissioner on another Ward 8 ANC, worked with Batchelor on the committee, and called Batchelor "a very community-minded and civic-minded person."
“I hope that one day he would even think about running for a Council seat," she said.”

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