Education & Schools
Governor Quinn Signs Illinois DREAM Act PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 01 August 2011 12:04

Landmark Law Increases Higher Education Opportunities for Children of Immigrants

CHICAGO – August 1, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed historic legislation to increase education opportunities to children of immigrants in Illinois. The Illinois DREAM Act creates a privately-funded scholarship program for high school graduates from immigrant families who wish to attend college.

“All children have the right to a first-class education,” Governor Quinn said. “The Illinois DREAM Act creates more opportunities for the children of immigrants to achieve a fulfilling career, brighter future and better life through higher education.”

Senate Bill 2185, sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Rep. Eddie Acevedo (D-Chicago), establishes a nine-member Illinois DREAM Fund Commission to manage the program, whose members are appointed by the Governor. The commission will help establish privately-funded scholarships for students who have resided with their parents while attending high school in Illinois, earned their high school diploma, attended school in Illinois for at least three years, and have at least one parent who immigrated to the United States. 

In addition, the new law allows any person with a Social Security or taxpayer identification number to participate in a state-operated college savings pool. It also requires high school counselors to provide college information to all children of immigrants. Children of immigrants will have unprecedented opportunities to access higher education as a result of the Illinois Dream Act.

"We should be opening, not shutting doors of opportunity for young students regardless of how or why they are living in Illinois," said President Cullerton. "This new law moves the state beyond the rhetoric of equal opportunity by making the dream of a college education a reality for more of Illinois' outstanding students."

The new law was one of Governor Quinn’s top priorities during the spring legislative session. The Governor recognized that it would ensure that Illinois continues to lead the nation in increasing access to top-quality education, which is critical to retaining our best and brightest students and ensuring our continued success in the competitive global economy.

Students, community leaders and elected officials from across the state joined Governor Quinn to celebrate the new law that brings more affordability and better access to higher education in Illinois.  

"Immigrants are a driving force in our city’s cultural and economic life, and opening the way for all Chicago students to earn an excellent higher education will make our city even stronger," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I am proud that families and students across Illinois will now have a better shot at the American Dream — which starts with a great education.”

With an estimated 65 percent of immigrant students coming from households earning below 200 percent of the poverty line, the financial barriers to higher education for academically qualified immigrant students are steep. Through the DREAM commission, Illinois leaders will now be able to raise private funds to help these students achieve their full potential.

“We thank Governor Quinn for his continuous support and his tireless work for the immigrant community,” said Lawrence Benito, Deputy Director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). “The signing of this bill into law is historic and it confirms that Illinois is not only an immigrant-friendly state but also a national leader on moving fair, humane, and practical solutions.”

The DREAM Act passed with bipartisan legislative support and with the strong support of the education community. The commission will provide training to school service personnel and work with admission and financial aid officers and high school counselors across Illinois to help students utilize the wide array of higher education opportunities.

“The Illinois DREAM Act is a crucial step in the right direction, ensuring that worthy students are no longer denied the life-changing opportunity of college simply because their immigration status puts needed financial aid out of reach,” said University of Illinois President Michael J. Hogan. “I’m grateful to our legislators and Governor Quinn for supporting the shared vision that bright minds are our most precious resource and must be cultivated, not thwarted by outdated immigration laws.”

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University of Kansas announces spring 2011 honor roll PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Monday, 01 August 2011 09:44

LAWRENCE, KS (07/29/2011)(readMedia)-- More than 4,400 undergraduate students at the University of Kansas earned honor roll distinction for the spring 2011 semester.

KU's honor roll comprises undergraduates who meet requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the schools of allied health; architecture, design and planning; business; education; engineering; journalism; music; nursing; pharmacy; and social welfare.

The spring 2011 honor roll students are listed by name, level (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior), school or college, parents' or guardians' names and high school.

  • Ashley J Sevigny, a senior from Davenport, Iowa was named to the honor roll in the School of Education. She is the daughter of Ken and Linda Sevigny from Davenport, Iowa She is a graduate of Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, Iowa
  • Dustin W Ramsey, a senior from Rock Island, Ill. was named to the honor roll in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is the son of Craig and Patricia Ramsey from Rock Island, Ill. He is a graduate of Moline senior High School in Moline, Ill.

Criteria for honor roll vary among the university's academic units and are available online http://www2.ku.edu/~distinction/cgi-bin/regulations16

 
RIVERMONT STUDENT GETS HEAD START ON SCIENTIFIC CAREER PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Monday, 01 August 2011 09:39

Though the start of the school year finds many students reminiscing about lazy summer days of sleeping in and working on their tan, 79 aspiring young scientists ended the summer of 2011 much more than tan and well-rested!  Participants in the STARS (Students and Teachers As Research Scientists) program spent their summer researching everything from neural circuits to human/robot interaction at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  Student participants are paired with research mentors from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (Creve Coeur, MO), Saint Louis University, the Solae Company, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Missouri – St. Louis.  For six weeks, researchers take on student apprentices, who complete science research projects and gain real-world laboratory experience.  For many students, this experience is one of the most important in their decision to pursue a career in science.

Rivermont Collegiate is proud to announce senior Meghana Pagadala, daughter of Mr. Kishore and Dr. Padma Pagadala of Rock Island, is a scholar graduate of the 2011 STARS program!  Meghana’s research project, “The Mechanism by Which CD8+FoxP3+T Cells Regulate Osteoclast Activity”, was completed with Dr. Rajeev Aurora from Saint Louis University.  Of the 79 STARS participants from 36 schools, only 4 students, including Meghana, came from outside the St. Louis metro area.  Participants are selected based on GPA, test scores (PSAT, SAT, ACT, etc.), student essays, and letters of recommendation.  The entire Rivermont community is extremely proud of Meghana and looks forward to her future contributions to the world of science!

For additional information on the STARS program, visit the University of Missouri – St. Louis website at www.umsl.edu.

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate, contact Cindy Murray at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and visit us on the web atwww.rvmt.org!

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IFAA Offers Iowa Youth $10,000 in New Scholarships PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:32

DES MOINES, IA (07/27/2011)(readMedia)-- College-bound Iowa youth active in 4-H and/or FFA livestock projects and current undergraduate students may apply for $10,000 in new scholarships available from the Iowa Foundation for Agricultural Advancement (IFAA).

The scholarships are available to freshmen entering any Iowa two- or four-year post-secondary institution this fall or current undergraduates attending Iowa State University. Applicant must have a strong background in 4-H and/or FFA and demonstrate leadership while being involved in activities. Preference will be given to applicants who show a strong desire to remain active in agriculture after graduation. Two $5,000 Branstad-Reynolds Agriculture Scholarships are available.

Applications and additional information are available by visiting the Sale of Champions section of the Iowa State Fair's web site (www.iowastatefair.org/competition/sale-of-champions/winners-circle-scholarships/), the IFAA web site (www.ifaa.org), or by calling 515/291-3941. Applications must be postmarked by August 1, 2011. All materials should be sent to Winner's Circle Scholarship, c/o Linda Weldon, 1440 NW 134th Ave., Slater, IA 50244 or emailed to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Winners will be announced during the Iowa State Fair's annual 4-H/FFA Sale of Champions on August 20, an event sponsored by IFAA. The IFAA is a non-profit organization founded in 1988. It is comprised of agricultural enthusiasts dedicated to encouraging 4-H and FFA livestock, poultry and agricultural project members to pursue ag-related careers.

"Nothing Compares" to the 2011 Iowa State Fair, celebrating 100 years of the Butter Cow August 11-21. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visitwww.iowastatefair.org.

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Treasurer Fitzgerald Reminds State Fair Visitors to Register to Win $1,000 College Savings Iowa Account PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:27

DES MOINES, IA (07/27/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald reminds Iowa State Fair visitors to stop by the College Savings Iowa booth and register for a chance to win a $1,000 College Savings Iowa account for their child or grandchild. "Some lucky boy or girl will go home from the fair this year with more than just fond memories -- free money for college," says Fitzgerald. "Make sure you stop by our booth and see us while you're in the Varied Industries Building."

Treasurer Fitzgerald encourages families to start saving for college as soon as possible. "Saving ahead of time may reduce a need to borrow to cover educational expenses, which can help parents – and their children – get through college with less debt," says Fitzgerald. "Even a small amount of money, invested regularly over time, can grow into a substantial sum," he added.

Anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $2,865 per beneficiary from their 2011 adjusted gross income, and there are no income or residency restrictions.* Investors can withdraw their investment federally tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and certain room and board costs at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.

Investors can enroll online in about ten minutes with as little as $25. Online account services and multiple contribution methods, including electronic investment options that allow for the transfer of money directly from an existing checking or savings account, make it easy for busy families to save regularly and manage their accounts.

Saving for a child's education is always a smart investment, and College Savings Iowa is here to help. For more information about College Savings Iowa, visit www.collegesavingsiowa.com or call 1-888-672-9116.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The earnings portion of non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

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