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2010 October 18 - 12:00 am

NEWS BRIEFS:

  • Official Wants To Limit Ark. Scholarship Use

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas lottery commissioner says some lottery scholarship money could be used “to buy a cheeseburger at Sonic,” so he wants to restrict how the extra money can be spent.

Commissioner John Campbell III said he’s worried about a policy under which state colleges return excess scholarship money to the student.

Campbell told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that lottery-financed scholarships should only cover tuition, fees and books.

“I just don’t think John Q. Public understands what is happening with the dollars,” he said.

But students who receive only the lottery scholarship won’t have much left after paying such bills, state education officials said. And students who receive scholarships in addition to the lottery scholarships are restricted by state law to a total only up to their schools’ estimated cost of “attending,” which includes food and personal expenses, they said.

“Once tuition, fees, dorm rent and meal plans are subtracted from their scholarship, students can receive a check which can be applied for other living expenses and school supplies,” said Jim Purcell, director of the state Department of Higher Education.

Each institution develops a cost-of-attendance figure for each of their student types under guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education, Purcell said.

For example, the cost of attendance for a student under age 24 dependent on parents is $13,595 at Pulaski Technical College in Little Rock. The lottery-financed scholarships are $2,500 for qualifying students at the two-year colleges.

  • RI Leaders Make Pleas for More State Support

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Higher education officials say Rhode Island’s public colleges are on the verge of becoming unaffordable.

Key committees of the Board of Governors for Higher Education asked the state for $31 million more in support for the state’s three public colleges for the next fiscal year that starts July 1.

Officials proposed an overall $585 million budget — including $173 million from the state — to run the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and the Community College of Rhode Island.

Higher Education Commissioner Ray DiPasquale tells The Providence Journal that without the additional money the schools will be forced to raise tuition, pricing some people out.

He says 2,400 Rhode Islanders who planned on attending CCRI this fall never enrolled because they couldn’t afford the tuition.

  • Maine College Enrollment Up By 9.6 Percent

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Enrollment at Maine’s community colleges is up nearly 10 percent this fall from a year ago, the eighth straight year of increases since the institutions made the transition from technical to community colleges.

Enrollment at the state’s seven community college campuses stands at 17,967 students this fall, a rise of 9.6 percent from last year. The student count has grown 77 percent since 2002 and 21 percent in the past two years, Maine Community College System President John Fitzsimmson said Thursday.

The growth has put pressure on college officials to figure out ways to accommodate the demand, Fitzsimmons said.

“But the challenge remains: We do not have the capacity to serve all those who want to enroll and who need a college education to achieve economic security,” he said.

System officials say increasing numbers of Mainers are going to school to upgrade their job skills or prepare for new careers amid the weak economy and continued high unemployment.

  • Guam College Crime Laboratory Getting DNA Lab

HONOLULU (AP) — The Gregorio D. Perez Crime Lab at Guam Community College will be getting DNA lab and toxicology facilities.

The U.S. Interior Department said that Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta signed a $365,000 grant award allowing the school to move ahead with architecture and engineering designs.

Babauta says expanding the school’s criminal justice program strengthens the community college’s curriculum and places the institution at the forefront of criminology and forensic science in the region.

He says the school has worked for many years to diversify its curriculum and to offer students educational opportunities on the cutting edge in various professional fields.

  • Wyo. College Rewriting Policy On Discipline

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Officials at Laramie County Community College are trying to clarify the school’s employee disciplinary policy following a recent series of terminations.

College President Darrel Hammon says the revisions won’t necessarily make any significant changes to the policy.

College Trustee George McIlvaine says there have been differences of opinion over aspects of the discipline policy during a termination hearing.

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports McIlvaine says clarifying the policy is not intended to make it easier to fire employees.

  • Enrollment at Mo. Colleges Sets New Record

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — It’s another record-setting year for Missouri’s community colleges.

The Missouri Community College Association says enrollment at the state’s 12 institutions was 106,486 when the fall semester began.

That’s up more than 8,000 students from last year.

Association director Zora Mulligan says enrollment has been growing at community colleges for the past five years.

Many of Missouri’s public universities also reported record enrollments this fall.

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