Education & Schools
Jim Smith of Davenport among nearly 800 receiving UNL degrees Aug. 16 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Tom Simons   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:35

LINCOLN, NE (08/18/2014)(readMedia)-- Jim Arthur Smith of Davenport was among nearly 800 graduates who received degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in an Aug. 16 ceremony at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Smith received a bachelor of arts degree from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Susan Sheridan, George Holmes University Professor of Educational Psychology at UNL, gave the address, "Lessons from Preschool." Ron Hull of Lincoln received the Nebraska Builder Award, given by the University of Nebraska since 1946 to individuals who have displayed exceptional service to Nebraska and the university.

The graduates are from 37 states and 27 countries. For a list of Aug. 16 graduates, go to

Bettendorf resident will attend the University of Dayton this fall, joining one of the largest, most academically prepared and diverse classes in school history PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Cameron Fullam   
Friday, 15 August 2014 13:29

DAYTON, OH (08/14/2014)(readMedia)-- Erron Vandemore of Bettendorf, IA, will attend the University of Dayton as part of one of the largest classes in the University's history, as the school exceeded all enrollment goals and received a record 16,918 applications for the 2014-15 academic year.

At 59 percent, the overall selectivity remains competitive, including more than 1,000 out-of-state students and nearly 200 international students.

The University plans to welcome about 2,200 first-year students when classes start Aug. 27.

"We are exceptionally pleased with the quality and the size of the incoming class," said Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president of enrollment management and marketing. "With increasing competition in Ohio and nationally for a declining number of college-aged students, we are gratified to see the University of Dayton's continued broad appeal all over the world. It's a resounding endorsement of the academic quality and value of a Catholic, Marianist education."

The fall class is also expected to boast the highest average test scores in school history and more diversity as well, with the number of African-American and Hispanic students up significantly.

With the number of applicants on the rise in recent years, the University of Dayton is bucking a trend among private schools in the region. Approximately two-thirds of 35 small private colleges in the Midwest have experienced two consecutive years of smaller entering classes, according to a May 9 report in Bond Buyer. Some private universities in the Midwest have faced layoffs, and one recently merged.

Kumarasamy suggests the uptick in enrollment is due to:

  • Expanded efforts by the deans and faculty in the recruitment effort, particularly for minority students.
  • A transparent, guaranteed four-year tuition plan that promises scholarships and grants will increase every year to offset any tuition increases. In addition, the University has eliminated all fees and offers up to $1,000 annually for textbooks.
  • The NCAA men's basketball tournament run with the Dayton Flyers appearing in the Elite 8 for the first time in 30 years.
  • A strategic decision to diversify the University's enrollment to combat the demographic trends in the Midwest. The number of students from outside Ohio continues to outnumber in-state students, with 54 percent expected to enroll from outside the state and internationally.
  • Other value-added distinctions, including a four-year graduation pledge; a four-year guarantee of University housing to first-year students who make that choice; and study-abroad scholarships for select programs, including China.

"The University of Dayton has added these features because they align perfectly with our mission," Kumarasamy said. "We want our students to graduate in four years, experience our distinctive highly residential campus and study abroad because all graduates need to be exposed to global issues and cultures. It's part of our Catholic, Marianist mission to prepare students to succeed in diverse and global environments."

The University of Dayton is a top-tier national, Catholic, research university and Ohio's largest private university. Founded by the Society of Mary (the Marianists), the University of Dayton educates students for excellence in scholarship and practical wisdom, grounded in faith and reason, to build community and partner for the common good.

College Bound Children Share Career Ambitions With State Treasurer Fitzgerald PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Karen Austin   
Friday, 15 August 2014 08:39

DES MOINES, IA (08/14/2014)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald announced today that 85% of the children that have participated in the College Savings Iowa's annual State Fair survey show getting a college education is a necessary step to achieving their dreams and career aspirations. "Iowa children are already thinking about their futures," stated Fitzgerald. "This survey demonstrates how important it is for families to start planning and saving early to help make college a reality for their children."

"Every year we ask children visiting the fair what they want to be when they grow up and if they will need to go to college to achieve these goals," Fitzgerald said. "Needless to say, we are always amazed by the responses they offer." Nineteen percent are planning on becoming veterinarians, with another 18% hoping to become teachers. Artist came in third this year with 14% of the responses.

"According to the survey, the majority of kids think a college education will cost them around $100,000," Fitzgerald added. "Families that save and invest for their children's college education will be better prepared to meet the challenge of paying for it when the time arrives, and College Savings Iowa is here to help." Anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. This year Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $3,098 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income.* Earnings grow tax free and investors can withdraw their investment federally and Iowa state 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.**

. You can also connect with the plan on Facebook and Twitter (@Iowa529Plan) to stay up to date on current giveaways and events.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

**Earnings on 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.



Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor.

College Savings Iowa is an Iowa trust sponsored by the Iowa State Treasurer's Office. The Treasurer of the State of Iowa sponsors and is responsible for overseeing the administration of the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan. The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as Investment Manager and Vanguard Marketing Corporation, an affiliate of The Vanguard Group, Inc., assists the Treasurer with marketing and distributing the Plan. Upromise Investment Advisors, LLC, provides records administration services. The Plan's portfolios, although they invest in Vanguard mutual funds, are not mutual funds.

Branstad’s, Reynolds’ proposal wins NGA grant to advance innovative education and workforce development initiatives PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Friday, 15 August 2014 08:38

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced the State of Iowa has been awarded a National Governors Association (NGA) grant to assist in continuing their innovative educational and workforce development programs within Iowa. The grant is worth up to $170,000, and was awarded after the governor’s office submitted a proposal to the “NGA Policy Academy on Aligning the Education and Training Pipeline to the Needs of the Economy.”

“Lieutenant Governor Reynolds and I know that in order for Iowa to remain competitive in developing and attracting high-quality, world-class careers, we must continue to provide effective education and job-training,” said Branstad. “We’re pleased to receive this grant from the National Governors Association to continue advancing Iowa’s skilled workforce and innovative education programs.”

The grant will help Iowa continue to advance innovative programs like the Skilled Iowa Initiative, the Governor’s Science Technology, Engineering and Math initiative, Home Base Iowa, the Iowa Apprenticeship and Job Training program and other programs aimed at closing the middle-skills gaps.  A variety of state entities will collaborate with private sector, non-profit, and educational stakeholders to continue to advance Iowa’s efforts to grow our talent pipeline.

“Today’s announcement of new funds for workforce and education development is yet another win for hardworking Iowans,” said Reynolds. “We’re proud that Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped nearly thirty percent and more Iowans are working than ever before, but if we’re to continue to be globally competitive, we must continue to innovate.”

The NGA initiative is part of 2013-2014 Chair’s Initiative of Oklahoma Gov. Marry Fallon titled, “America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow’s Jobs.”


News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Vanessa Douglas   
Friday, 15 August 2014 08:13

Lt. Governor Reynolds will be visiting Rivermont Collegiate September 22nd at 11am to meet the Middle School Robotics team that is headed to Brazil to represent the United States at the First Lego League Competition and Festival.


Rivermont Collegiate's Middle School Robotics team ROFL (Robots on the Floor Laughing) has been chosen to represent the United States at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) International Robotics Competition and Festival in Bello Horizante, Brazil this September. With over 14,000 FLL Teams in the U.S, ROFL will be the sole representative from the United States. John Deere is the team's official sponsor through its John Deere Inspire program. The team, based in Bettendorf, Iowa, will depart for Brazil on August 31; the competition will take place Sept. 1-4.

Rivermont Collegiate's ROFL Robotics team was chosen by John Deere to represent the U.S. based on the team's exceptional display of Core Values in Gracious Professionalism and their robot performance during the 2014 state competition.

The following students comprise the Middle School Robotics team (ROFL) that will represent Rivermont Collegiate and the United States in Brazil:  Lauren Schroeder, Ellie Decker, Gabe Heaney, Jessica Elliott, and Nikhil Wagher.

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