Education & Schools
Upper Iowa University Announces Spring 2013 Dean's List PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Monica Bayer Heaton   
Friday, 14 June 2013 10:03

FAYETTE, IA (06/13/2013)(readMedia)-- Upper Iowa University names its 2013 Spring Dean's List. To be honored, the undergraduate must have earned a minimum 3.50 GPA for the semester and be enrolled as a full-time student.

Shaun Eberhart, of Charlotte, IA

Haylie Franklin, of Muscatine, IA

Stephanie Ries, of Clinton, IA

Amanda Smith, of Moline, IL

Colbey Vance, of Port Byron, IL

Bridget Barrette, of DeWitt, IA

Shawn Cotton, of LeClaire, IA

David Green, of Bettendorf, IA

Jann Hebrank, of Park View, IA

Shelley Koritz, of Erie, IL

William Stellmach, of Davenport, IA

Christian Wirth, of Bettendorf, IA

Ericka Carpenter, of Wheatland, IA

Pamela Frost, of Delmar, IA

Warren Ewoldt, of Long Grove, IA

Robert Haxton, of Eldridge, IA

Kimberly Johnson, of Port Byron, IL

Tiffany Jones, of Davenport, IA

Austin Kean, of Davenport, IA

Alyssa Lenning, of Davenport, IA

Celia Porth, of DeWitt, IA

Annulka Shipp, of Bettendorf, IA

Amanda Shreve, of Davenport, IA

Kathryn Troendle, of Bettendorf, IA

Richard Troendle, of Bettendorf, IA

James Yackley, of Devenport, IA

Leann Zinn, of Davenport, IA

Travis Zurcher, of Moline, IL

For more information about Upper Iowa University, go to

About Upper Iowa University

Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to about 6,200 students-nationally and internationally-at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit

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Loebsack Continues to Pressure Congressional Leaders to Stop $1,000 Increase on Iowa Students PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 14 June 2013 09:59

Signs ‘discharge petition’ to force vote

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today joined fellow lawmakers to take action that would force House leadership to bring up legislation to prevent student loan rates from doubling.  Student loan interest rates are currently 3.4 percent, but are set to double to 6.8 percent on July 1st.  If Congress does not act, the average borrower’s debt would increase by $1,000. This action builds on Loebsack’s call to House and Senate leaders to come together and bring up a bill for a vote that can be passed by both Chambers and signed into law.  As the only member of the Iowa delegation to serve on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Loebsack, a cosponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013 (H.R. 1595), has helped lead the fight to ensure students do not see a raise in interest rates.

“With tuition rising rapidly and far too many Iowans struggling to make ends meet, middle-class families are finding it more and more difficult to pay for college.” wrote Loebsack.  “Time is running out for us to get this done for our students and the future success of our economy.  I strongly urge you to work together to find a solution that will prevent this $1,000 increase on students come July 1st.”

As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Loebsack has championed numerous pieces of legislation to increase access to higher education, including:

·         College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) Loebsack helped craft and pass this legislation, which makes college more affordable and accessible for all Iowans by increasing the maximum Pell Grant scholarship and expanding eligibility;

·         Year Round Pell Grants Loebsack authored a provision that created year-round Pell grants in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in 2008.  However, the year-round Pell grant was unfortunately eliminated in 2011.  In response to the ongoing need for more flexibility, Loebsack partnered with Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) to introduce legislation which would reinstate the flexibility that was provided by Loebsack’s provision in 2008.

·         Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act Loebsack was a cosponsor of this bill, which will save American taxpayers $61 billion by making the student loan process more efficient.  The bill further expanded the maximum Pell Grant available from $5,550 in 2010 to $5,975 in 2017, granting Iowa students more than $291 million for higher education. This bill was the largest single investment in student aid in America’s history, and will make college more accessible, transform the way student loan programs operate and strengthens community colleges.


Senators Push Bipartisan Bill to Help Families and Students Understand True Cost of College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 14 June 2013 09:53

“Understanding the True Cost of College” Act Will Ensure Families Know Exact Cost of College When Deciding Which School to Attend

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to create a universal financial aid award letter so that families and students can easily compare financial aid packages from different schools. The legislation is led by Senators Al Franken of Minnesota and Chuck Grassley of Iowa and is cosponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa, Marco Rubio of Florida, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Patty Murray of Washington, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Chuck Schumer of New York, Tom Carper of Delaware, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Chris Coons of Delaware, and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

Currently, schools do not use standard definitions or names for different types of aid, so students and families often report having difficulty differentiating between grant aid—which does not need to be repaid—and student loans, which do need to be repaid.

The Understanding the True Cost of College Act of 2013 would clarify what financial aid families will receive from a school and create standard terms for the aid offered so that students can accurately compare offers from different schools.

“Students in Minnesota graduate with the third highest average debt in the nation—nearly $30,000 each—and part of the problem is that they often don’t have a clear picture of how much their education is going to actually cost them,” said Sen. Franken. “My legislation will require schools to use a universal financial aid letter so students and their families will know exactly how much college will cost, and will help them compare apples to apples when deciding what school a student will attend.”

“This initiative will empower students and parents with the information they need to make the best financial decision for their families and to avoid taking on more debt than they will be able to repay. The effort to fully inform is part of addressing the problem of student debt on the front end rather than after the fact. And, the more students and parents become savvy shoppers, the more colleges will be forced to rein in rising costs to compete for students,” said Sen. Grassley.

“Last year, the amount of student loan debt owed by Americans surpassed $1 trillion, and that number is growing. It is important that students and their families have uniform, consumer-friendly information about the cost of college up-front so they can shop around, make apples-to-apples comparisons among colleges, and select a school that best meets their needs, in terms of both quality and affordability,” said Sen. Harkin, who is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. “Right now that is a difficult task since each school lists expenses differently. This bill will remove some of the mystery and guesswork for students and families as they navigate the higher education marketplace and empower them to make fully-informed decisions about where to attend.”

“This legislation is an important step toward helping students and their families make truly informed decisions about their higher education options,” said Sen. Rubio. “For the 21st century student to make smart financial decisions regarding college, we must equip them with easy-to-use and meaningful information about financial aid options available to them. Students will then be able to begin planning for their post-college careers from the beginning, and be prepared to enter today’s competitive global workforce economy upon graduation.”

The Understanding the True Cost of College Act would:

•           Require institutions of higher education to use a uniform financial aid award letter;

•           Call on the Department of Education to work with colleges, consumer groups, students, and school guidance counselors to develop standard definitions of various financial aid terms for use in the uniform financial aid award letters;

•           Establish what information must be included on page one of the uniform financial aid award letters, such as: cost of attendance, grant aid, work study assistance, eligible amounts of federal student loans, and the net amount a student is responsible for paying after subtracting grant aid.

•           Require the Department of Education to establish a process to consumer test the uniform financial aid award letter and use the results from the consumer testing in the final development of the uniform financial aid award letter.

More about the bill can be read here.


Four Things Parents Should Know Before Paying for College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Thursday, 13 June 2013 07:49
Financial Specialist Shares Ways to Help Your Child
While Protecting Your Retirement

From $20,000 to $65,000 a year – that’s the tuition cost for one year of college, says John McDonough, a money expert who helps retirees and parents plan for their families’ futures.

“For the 2012–2013 academic year, the average cost for an in-state public college is $22,261. A moderate budget for a private college averaged $43,289,” says McDonough, CEO of Studemont Group College Funding Solutions, “But for elite schools, we’re talking about three times the cost of your local state school. Either way, your kid’s higher education can easily shoot into six figures after four years.”

Along with worrying about rising tuition prices, parents also fear for their own futures if their retirement savings are drained by children’s college costs, McDonough says. Only 14 percent, for example, are very confident they’ll have the money to live comfortably in retirement, he says, citing a 2012 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

“Families feel they’re faced with conflicting goals, but there are numerous ways to pay for college while investing in your future retirement,” says McDonough, who offers insights for parents to keep in mind while planning for their child’s education:

• The ROI of a college education: At a time when so many American families are financially strapped, college is an especially stressful topic because parents know higher learning will help their kids succeed. College graduates earn 84 percent than those with only a high school diploma, according to Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Here is how earning breaks down over one’s life time, based on education: a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime; $2.3 million is estimated for a college graduate; those with only a high school diploma can expect $1.3 million.

• Move retirement assets to qualify for grants: Most parents know about the 529 savings account, but that’s not necessarily the best or only option. Reallocating your retirement assets, such as 401(k)s, can better position a child to qualify for grants and scholarships. This legal and ethical maneuvering may be the single most important factor when considering how to pay for college.

• Know your student’s strengths and weaknesses: Consider independent and objective analysis of your future college student. Assessment might include a personality profile and a detailed search for a future career. Also think about a more nuts-and-bolts approach, including scholarship eligibility, SAT and ACT prep courses, review of admissions essays and an in-depth analysis of chances for enrollment in a student’s top four choices of colleges.

• Make a checklist of financial aid forms: In order to maximize a fair price of higher education, remember there is plenty of data to review. McDonough recommends a checklist with a timeline and notable deadlines. Be ready to troubleshoot the “alphabet soup” of data forms: FAFSA – Free Application For Federal Student Aid; CSS profile – College Scholarship Service; SAR – Student Aid Report; and more. Think about this process as a second job, or find professional help you can trust.

About John McDonough

John McDonough is the managing member at Studemont Group, which is primarily focused on helping retirees gain peace of mind with unique market rescue and recovery programs. He is also founder, president and CEO of Studemont Group College Funding Solutions. His experience in the financial services industry includes managing partner at Granite Harbor Advisors in Houston and divisional vice president of AXA Equitable/AXA Advisors, the third largest insurance company in the world. McDonough is a member of the prestigious Forum 400, a qualifier at the Court of the Table qualifier for Million Dollar Round Table, an active member in National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and Society of Financial Service Professionals, as well as American Association of Life Underwriters. He has completed the course work to sit for the Certified Financial Planner® professional designation exam from Rice University.

Caleb Chovan graduates from Grove City College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Janice Inman   
Thursday, 13 June 2013 07:38

GROVE CITY, PA (06/12/2013)(readMedia)-- Caleb Chovan graduated from Grove City College on May 18, 2013. Caleb earned a BS Mech. Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering. Caleb is a 2009 graduate of Pleasant Valley HighSchool and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Chovan (Janet) from Bettendorf, IA.

A senior class of 592 students earned degrees during Commencement exercises. Delivering this year's Commencement address was retiring Dean for the Alva J. Calderwood School of Arts and Letters Dr. John Sparks '66.

Founded in 1876, Grove City College stands on its founding ideals of faith and freedom, made possible by an unwavering commitment to Christian principles and rigorous academics at a price within the reach of families with modest means. The College, located 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pa., has an enrollment of 2,500 students and teaches the liberal arts, sciences and engineering. It is an advocate of the free market economic system and accepts no federal funding. Tuition is about half the national average for private colleges. Grove City College has been named the Top Value in Private Liberal-Arts Schools by Consumers Digest Magazine. The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has named the College one of 50 All-American Colleges, ranking it high for increasing students' civic literacy. Grove City College has been named a Best Value and one of the best colleges in America by Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. The Young America's Foundation calls Grove City College one of the Top Conservative Schools in the country.

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