Education

Education
1:23 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Sen. Jack Reed Proposes Changes to Student Loan Interest Rates

Congress has until July 1st before some federal student loan interest rates double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

Staring down a July 1st deadline, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking at ways to control the costs of federal student loans. Senator Jack Reed is behind a measure that would overhaul how student loan interest rates are calculated.

Reed and a handful of democrats in Congress are pushing legislation that offers adjustable rates and caps the maximum interest rates on federal loans. The bill also allows borrowers stuck with high interest rates to refinance.

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Education
4:34 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Safety Concerns Push URI Graduation Indoors

The University of Rhode Island is moving its graduation indoors. The university said it’s for safety reasons. 

URI said the recent gun scare on campus and the bombings in Boston prompted it to move the graduation ceremony into the Ryan Center.  Graduating student Kelly Harris is unhappy with the move.  She said students are limited to bringing two guests and that will make it harder for her friends and family to see her walk across the stage.

“This is affecting the vast majority of graduating seniors,” said Harris.

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Education
7:15 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Do Rhode Island State College Police Need Guns?

The University of Rhode Island is the only state university in the country not allowed to arm its campus police.
Credit RIPR File Photo

The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow Rhode Island State College Police to carry guns. 

The hearing comes after a scare at the University of Rhode Island about a gunman on campus, and Rhode Island is currently the only state in the country that does not allow armed campus police at public colleges and universities. The University of Rhode Island is also expected to release its preliminary review in the coming days examining how it responded to the report of a possible shooter.

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Education
8:56 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Legislation Allows Arms for State Campus Police

State legislators are considering allowing state college and university police to carry guns.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing this week on a bill to allow campus police to carry guns at Rhode Island state colleges and universities. The bill was filed long before a scare this month about a gunman on the University of Rhode Island Kingston campus.

Representative Joe Almeida, a Providence Democrat, turned to politics after a 20-year-career as a police officer. He filed legislation back in February to allow campus police to carry guns. He said many campus police officers are retired cops just like he is, and they’re already trained to carry a firearm.

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Education
8:46 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Contract Extension Likely For Ed. Commissioner Gist

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist would like to stay in Rhode Island, according to her spokeperson.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison/RIPR

Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is working out terms for an extension of her contract. The controversial Gist is expected to remain at the helm of the state Department of Education.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist led the team that brought Rhode Island a $75 million federal Race to the Top grant. But she’s also been criticized for shepherding in an era of tough teacher evaluations and high stakes testing as a graduation requirement.

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Education
4:47 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Bill Would Make In-State Tuition for Immigrants Law

Lawmakers hold press conference at the Statehouse on bill giving immigrants in-state tuition.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Two Providence lawmakers are throwing their support behind a bill that would upgrade in-state college tuition for undocumented students from a state policy to a state law. It’s a bill that’s been introduced before.

Two years ago the Board of Governors for Higher Education signed off on a policy that provides in-state tuition for undocumented students who have attended a Rhode Island high school for at least three years. State Senator Juan Pichardo of Providence says it’s time to upgrade that policy to a state law.

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Student Loans
3:48 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Student Loan Program Provides Relief in Exchange for Internships

Rhode Island College Campus
Credit courtesy RIC.edu

Internships are generally unpaid. But they will pay off handsomely under a new program announced Tuesday by the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority.  Starting May 1st the Authority, known as RISLA, will forgive $2,000 of a student’s loan if he or she completes an internship worth three credit hours. It will be forgiven upon graduation. 

RISLA director Charles Kelley says the idea is to stem the brain drain, the practice of promising young college students leaving the state for lack of work.

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Education
8:23 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Most Adults Fail the Mock NECAP Test

School bus
Credit courtesy First Student Company

NECAP, the standardized test that’s become a requirement for high school graduation in Rhode Island, may be harder than most people think. A majority of adults who took a portion of the math test last weekend failed to make the grade.

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The NECAP Test
3:19 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

RI Education Board Chair Calls Adult NECAP Testing a Publicity Stunt

Credit 123 Flickr

The results of a mock standardized test given to politicians and community leaders will be released Tuesday afternoon.  The math test was administered Saturday by a student group which opposes the test known as NECAP or the New England Common Assessment Program.

The chairwoman of the state Board of Education is blasting the adult test takers for participating in what she calls a “publicity stunt.”  Eva Marie Mancuso says if the adults had a hard time with it it’s because they weren’t prepared, as students are.

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Higher Education
3:26 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

URI: A Record-breaking Number of Applicants for Fall 2013

The University of Rhode Island says it’s seeing a record number of applications for the Fall 2013 semester.  University officials believe their marketing efforts are paying off.

Close to 21,000 students have applied for admission to URI for next fall.  Roughly 75 percent will be admitted so that the university has its desired freshman class of 3,100 even after students who have been admitted decide to go elsewhere.

URI Admissions Dean Cynthia Bonn believes the interest in attending URI is a direct result of their outreach efforts.

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