Education & Schools
A day in the life of a typical student PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Hawkeye Caucus   
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 15:22

Over the next several months the Hawkeye Caucus will profile “A day in the life” of a typical student on campus.

Last Tuesday, I woke up and got my day started at 8:00 am. I grabbed my laptop and checked emails from the night before for about 30 minutes, as I do every morning.  I then got ready for the day and ate some breakfast.

After breakfast, I read for my Health Economics class for about an hour or so to prepare for my class later that night. At noon, I went to the College of Public Health building for my Human Resources for Healthcare Organizations’ class, which lasted until 2:00 pm.

After class, I walked over to the Iowa Memorial Union to eat lunch and held the first part of my weekly office hours for Dance Marathon. During these few hours, I caught up on more emails and then worked on improving one of our development areas for Dance Marathon. This included doing some data analysis and comparing it to previous years to see how we could improve for this year.

At 4:30, I started my Health Economics which goes until 7:30 pm. Following my class, I ate dinner and then read for my Maternal/Child/Family Health class, which occurs on Wednesday. After reading, I prepared for what I needed to do for the rest of the week and prioritized what needed to get done first.

Afterward, I checked emails for one last time and then talked with my girlfriend before falling asleep around 12:30 am.

Nic Rusher is a Master of Health Administration Candidate and is the Executive Director of the University of Iowa Dance Marathon.


The University of Iowa Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropic organization west of the Mississippi River.

Simon: Time to weigh in on Classrooms First recommendations PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Justin Stofferahn   
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 13:41

Deadline to provide input on school district efficiency proposals is May 14

SPRINGFIELD – May 4, 2012. In advance of the May 14 deadline, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is inviting parents, teachers, administrators and community members to submit online comments about a set of draft recommendations that will make it easier for school districts to consolidate and help them save up to $1 billion in operations costs by sharing services.

Individuals can leave comments on each of the commission’s individual recommendations at the Lt. Governor’s website. The input will be used, along with the testimony from four public hearings, to finalize the commission’s recommendations prior to their submission to the Governor and General Assembly this summer.

“The Classrooms First Commission started its work six months ago with public input on school district efficiency and effectiveness,” said Simon, who chairs the Classrooms First Commission. “We incorporated the concerns and ideas of hundreds of constituents in our draft recommendations, and we want to hear from educators, parents and community members again before we take our plan to the Governor. This input will make our final recommendations more valuable and representative of our state.”

The Classrooms First Commission is a bi-partisan group of education stakeholders that was charged last fall by Governor Quinn and the General Assembly to reduce duplicative education spending and improve educational outcomes. To read the draft recommendations and find out more about the Classrooms First Commission visit


Doubling Student Debt Rates to Cost Iowa Students $250 Million; Local Leaders Call on Congress to Maintain Current Interest Rates PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jeremy Funk   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:20
Local Leaders Call on Congress to Maintain Current Interest Rates



Higher education advocates released new data today showing that an anticipated increase in the student loan interest rate would cost Iowa students $250 million per year. The increase would affect federally subsidized Stafford loans, which are provided to almost 7.5 million low and moderate-income students nationwide each year. If Congress does nothing, then beginning on July 1st, the interest rate will double from 3.4% to 6.8% on new student loans.


“In today’s economy, students need a college education to get ahead,” said Sonia Ashe, Iowa PIRG Advocate. “Doubling the interest rate for student loans would make this goal harder to achieve for thousands of Iowans.”


“I’m already going to graduate with a mountain of student debt,” said Jessica Tobin at the University of Iowa. “If Congress lets the interest rate double, then I’m looking at even bigger loan payments and it’s going to take longer for me to get on my feet financially after I graduate.”


The average student borrower already graduates with over $25,000 in student loans. On average, the doubling of the interest rate would add approximately $1,000 for every year a student takes out a loan, adding up to more than $4,000 over a four-year education.


To stave off the rate hike, Congress needs to act by July 1st to maintain the existing interest rate. Without action, interest rates on these loans will double, resulting in significant new debt for future graduates. A vote on the issue is schedule in the United States Senate for Tuesday.


“Student debt can change the shape of a young person’s life,” said Laurie Wolf, a financial aid officer at Des Moines Area Community College. “When students graduate with high levels of student debt, it can force them to postpone major life events like marriage, parenthood, and home ownership. It’s important to minimize that debt, including keeping interest rates low, in order to reduce the impact it has on the lives of our graduates.”


Today, the Center for American Progress, Campus Progress, and the USAction Education Fund will release reports detailing how an increase in the Stafford student loan interest rate would impact a number of states. These reports will offer new broad analysis, state statistics, stories of people who could be impacted, and support from student body presidents and campus newspapers.


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Iowa PIRG, the Iowa Public Interest Research Group, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization.

Governor Quinn Statement on Illinois Senate Abolishing Legislative Scholarships PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:18

SPRINGFIELD – May 3, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding the Illinois Senate’s passage of HB 3810, which ends the troubled General Assembly tuition waiver program.

“Today, the Illinois Senate took a big step forward to do the right thing. I want to salute President John Cullerton for his leadership and urge the House to quickly concur with this long-overdue ethics reform.

“Abolishing a political scholarship program is the right thing for deserving students who need financial assistance to attend college. Illinois deserves to have a strong scholarship program that helps needy students go to college.

“As I have repeatedly advocated – scholarships – paid for by Illinois taxpayers- should be awarded only to those with merit who are in true financial need. As we continue to move forward to tackle reforming our pensions and Medicaid systems, this is an important bipartisan moment of progress.

“I look forward to working with the General Assembly night and day to make more progress in the remaining four weeks.”



Journalists, editors eligible for $5,000 scholarships for religion courses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Amy Schiska   
Thursday, 03 May 2012 14:12

Study Islam, Religion and Politics, War, Theology—on us!

(Columbia, Mo.) — RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS invites journalists in the to apply to its Lilly Scholarships in Religion Program. The scholarships give full-time journalists up to $5,000 to take any college religion courses at any accredited institution at any time.

Religion headlines are dominating news coverage—sex abuse, religion and politics, Islam in America, Post-9/11— now is the perfect time to dig deeper into today’s hottest stories. More than 200 people have already taken advantage of RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS’ Lilly Scholarships in Religion Program for Journalists.

Topics reporters have studied include: Islamic Movements, God & Politics, Christianity and Culture, Religious Tradition and Scientific Inquiry, Buddhism and Science, Violence and Liberation, Religion and Medicine and many more.

“It goes without saying I can’t leave my social location behind when I write stories, but this course allowed me to be more aware of my own biases and prejudices, allowing me to be more cautious when I report about ethics and social issues, said Francisco Miraval a freelance writer who took the course “Ethical Perspectives on Justice and Peace” at Iliff School of Theology.

The scholarships can be used at accredited colleges, universities, seminaries or similar institutions.  Journalists can choose any religion, spirituality or ethics course. Scholarships cover tuition, books, registration fees, parking and other course-related costs. Online and travel classes are also eligible (as long as travel costs are part of the curriculum).

All full-time journalists working in the general circulation news media—including reporters, editors, designers, copy editors, editorial writers, news directors, researchers and producers—are eligible, regardless of their beat.

The next scholarship application deadline is June 15, 2012. Scholarships must be used within three academic quarters of their award date.

RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS is the world’s only association for journalists who write about religion in the mainstream news media. The scholarships are offered through its non-profit arm, the Religion Newswriters Foundation, with funding from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

RELIGION | NEWSWRITERS offers training and tools to help journalists cover religion with balance, accuracy and insight. Visit to learn more about our RELIGION | LINK story ideas, Religion stylebook and primer, contests for religion reporting, annual conference and more.

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