Average 9:1 student to teacher ratio.  Technology and foreign language instruction beginning in Kindergarten.  Extensive, individualized college counseling beginning in ninth grade.  Extraordinary things happen at Rivermont Collegiate!  Join us for Open Tours the first Tuesday of every month to explore our approach to learning.  The next Open Tour will be held Tuesday, September 7th from 8:30-10:00 a.m.  No appointment necessary!  Drop in to explore our philosophy and curriculum, take a tour of campus, see our teachers in action, and get answers to all your questions about Rivermont.

Rivermont Collegiate is the Quad Cities' only private, nonsectarian, independent college preparatory school, serving preschool through twelfth grade.  At Rivermont, we prepare students who are grounded in the basics, yet able to think analytically and creatively to confidently meet the challenges of the 21st century.  Rivermont is proudly multicultural, with students coming from many Quad City area communities.  Rivermont Collegiate is located at 1821 Sunset Drive in Bettendorf, directly off 18th street behind K&K Hardware.  This event is free and open to the public!

For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate or Tuesday's Open Tours, contact Cindy Murray at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or murray@rvmt.org.

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Iowa-Area Lenders Pool Resources to Help Students Without Cosigners

 

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA (Sept. 2, 2010) ? As the first university bills of the school year start to hit Iowa college students' mailboxes, those with nowhere to turn to fund their college education now have another option. This is thanks to a group of Iowa-area lenders who have stepped up to provide a supplemental private student loan to students who are unable to obtain a qualified cosigner.

"We're seeing a lot of students caught in a difficult spot, said Gary Steinke, president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. "They need more money to cover what financial aid doesn't, but their parents can't help them out by cosigning for a traditional private student loan. By providing an alternative with transparent and reasonable terms, these banks are helping students who may otherwise have to forego or postpone college."

Students often turn to private student loans after exhausting available federal, state and institutional financial aid. Generally, cosigners are required to meet underwriting criteria on students who have little income and a short credit history. However, with economic conditions continuing to result in unemployment or underemployment for working families, many parents are unable to cosign a private student loan, reducing students' options.

A group of Iowa-area lenders have pooled resources to create the Iowa Alliance Private Student Loan ProgramSM (Iowa Alliance Loan), serviced by Iowa Student Loan®. The program offers supplemental private student loans with upfront terms to students who have been denied a private loan requiring a cosigner. The participating lenders have gone above and beyond by raising enough funds to help Iowa students fill the gap between cost of attendance and available financial aid for the next two academic years.

The following Iowa-area lenders are participating in the Iowa Alliance Loan program:
  • American State Bank, Osceola
  • Bankers Trust Co., Des Moines
  • Community State Bank, Paton
  • Crawford County Trust & Savings Bank, Denison
  • Fairfax State Savings Bank, Fairfax
  • Guthrie County State Bank, Panora
  • Heartland Bank, Gowrie
  • Iowa Student Loan, West Des Moines
  • Manufacturers Bank & Trust, Forest City
  • MidWestOne Bank, Iowa City
  • Modern Woodmen Bank, Rock Island, Ill.
  • Northwest Bank, Spencer
  • Patriot Bank, Brooklyn
  • Shelby County State Bank, Harlan
  • Sibley State Bank, Sibley
  • Treynor State Bank (TS Bank), Treynor
To learn more about the Iowa Alliance Loan program and the lenders offering it, visit www.studentloan.org/alliance. Students must apply through their school's financial aid office.
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Register in September for chance to win a College Savings Iowa account

DES MOINES, IA (09/01/2010)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald announced today that Iowa has joined other states in declaring September as "College Savings Month" in an effort to increase awareness among families about the importance of saving for their children's higher education expenses.

"I want families to know it's never too early to start planning for their child's future education," said Fitzgerald. "As a way to raise awareness about the importance of saving for higher education, College Savings Iowa is giving away a free $529 account. I encourage Iowans to register today for a chance to win and jumpstart their college savings." To register, visit www.iowa529contest.com.

Studies show that children who have money saved for them are almost four times more likely to attend a four-year college than those with no account.* This makes saving ahead of time one of the most significant things families can do to help make college a reality for their children. By starting early and saving regularly, families can watch their savings and their children grow side by side. College Savings Month is a time when families are encouraged to explore the benefits of saving through a 529 plan like College Savings Iowa.

College Savings Iowa is an affordable, tax-advantaged option for families who are saving for their children's college education. It takes just $25 to open a College Savings Iowa account, and investors can contribute as little as $25 when adding to the account. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $2,811 per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2010. **

Anyone can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. Investors do not need to be a state resident and 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 technical training school in the United States or abroad. *** To learn more about College Savings Iowa, go to www.my529iowaplan.com or call 1-800-523-0644.

*From the Center for Social Development study: The Role of Savings and Wealth in Reducing "Wilt" between Expectations and College Attendance. William Elliott III and Sondra Beverly, 2010.

**If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.

*** 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.

CHARLES TOWN, WV (08/27/2010)(readMedia)-- LARRY J. GARY, a Transportation and Logistics Management major and resident of Davenport, was among more than 4,000 degree recipients recognized at American Public University System's Spring 2010 commencement at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

American Public University System, winner of the Sloan Consortium's 2009 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education and two-time recipient of Sloan's Effective Practice Award, offers more than 100 online certificate and degree programs through its American Public University and American Military University institutions. APUS's relevant curriculum, affordability and flexibility help more than 70,000 working adults worldwide pursue degrees in subjects ranging from homeland security to management and liberal arts. For further information, visit www.apus.edu.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (08/25/2010)(readMedia)-- Five Augustana faculty and 80 students will spend the fall term of 2010 living and learning in East Asia. The term is one of the longest running international programs at the college; nearly 1,000 students have participated in the 12-week program since it began in 1974. The faculty-led term includes traveling to the culturally diverse countries of Japan, Taiwan and China (including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) and concluding in Hawaii.

From your area this includes:

Angela Congrove, a sophomore from Davenport, IA majoring in liberal studies.

Regina Jarrell, a junior from Davenport, IA majoring in art.

Aubree Payne, a junior from Moline, IL majoring in psychology.

James Sales, a senior from Rock Island, IL majoring in biology.

Audrey Waner, a senior from Davenport, IA majoring in art.

Ian Williams, a junior from Moline, IL majoring in biology and pre-medicine.

"These students will see for themselves the dynamic growth of the Chinese economy, now number two in the world, and its rapidly modernizing cities and lifestyles even as the culture highlights its history and uses its traditions," said Dr. Norman Moline, one of the East Asia term founders and term co-director. "Many students experience the need for learning more Japanese or Chinese language if their future jobs in any way might be linked to these cultures. Also, as we are exposed to these different cultures and reflect on contrasts and similarities with our own, we learn more about ourselves."

Students started preparing for the term last spring with a seminar class and are now taking three or four additional courses, including Japanese Art, East Asian Markets, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Population Problems. These classes involve reading, lectures and field experiences at different sites relevant to the coursework, such as the Japanese Embassy, Hiroshima, Tiananmen Square, Great Wall of China and Chengdu, one of China's largest and most densely populated provinces, and home to the Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding. The group will meet with Augustana alumni Dr. Sarah Bexell '91 and Phillip Hoffmann '73. Bexell, originally from Freeport, Ill., is director of conservation education and communications at Chengdu Research Base for Giant Panda Breeding, and Hoffmann, a Peoria, Ill. native, is the minister-counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

Term co-director Dr. Marsha Smith says although students face the challenge of studying and living in a country where they can't speak the language, she is excited about the opportunities the experience offers them. "I hope they not only learn but realize that there are a lot of differences between places," said Smith. "Many people tend to lump all of Asia together, but really each aspect of Asia has its own unique culture and language."

Moline says Augustana's term trips through the years have created lasting relationships with the people of China.

"Some of our special program features stem from the fact that Augustana's 1977 fall term group was the first one from any American college or university admitted into China after its 'doors were open', which is important because Chinese people appreciate and make good things happen for 'old friends'," said Moline.

Dr. Ann Ericson of business administration, Dr. Naoko Gunji of art history and Dr. Robert Tallitsch of biology also will accompany Moline and Smith on the trip. The students return November 10.

For more information, contact Kamy Beattie at kamybeattie@augustana.edu or (309) 794-7721.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 70 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 287 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.

As the warm summer days begin to wind down and students prepare to head back to the classroom, back to school shopping isn't the only thing on people's minds.  

This spring, headlines told the story of massive education job losses in states around the country, including right here in Iowa.  These losses would have been devastating, and would have pushed the U.S. education system to fall behind.  

Earlier this year, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before my Appropriations subcommittee that as many as 300,000 teachers and other educators would be laid off during the school year that begins this month.  

Well-educated Americans are the single most important factor in maintaining our productivity and global leadership, to creating and keeping good jobs in our country, and in preparing our children to contribute to their communities and our nation at their full potential.  To ensure our future success, we must do everything we can to provide our children with the best education possible.

I have been fighting a sometimes lonely battle to provide new assistance to states in order to prevent a significant loss of public school teachers and other critical school personnel.  But finally, earlier this month, that battle was finally won and the Senate passed the "teacher jobs" bill.

Thanks to this legislation, we can prevent the lion's share of further job losses and I hope that many of those laid-off teachers can be brought back into the classroom.  This bill will provide an estimated $96 million for Iowa and save approximately 1,800 jobs in our state alone.  And on top of that, this bill is paid for and reduces the federal deficit.

With this teacher jobs bill, we are setting tough priorities in a very difficult budget environment.  We are saying that it is our priority to keep teachers in the classroom, and to prevent the derailment of important reform efforts in our schools.  Quite simply, we can't improve our Iowa public schools if we are laying off teachers, raising class sizes, slashing programs and cutting instruction time.  

We still have a long way to go, and must continue to work to ensure that America stays competitive in the global economy and has the best education system in the world, but this teacher jobs bill is a great victory for our children and an important step for our public schools.

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CHICAGO (08/11/2010)(readMedia)-- Kaplan University celebrated the graduation of its summer 2010 class during a live ceremony on Aug. 7 in Chicago. Harold Ford, Jr., a former U.S. Representative who President Bill Clinton once described as "the walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century," served as the keynote speaker. The following local students were awarded degrees:

Ronda Arnold of Eldridge, IA, was awarded a Master of Science in Nursing.

Rebecca Bird of Davenport, IA, was awarded a Associate of Applied Science in Accounting.

Kathleen Earnest of Coal Valley, IL, was awarded a 2 + 2 Bachelor in Nursing.

Mark Frederick of Rock Island, IL, was awarded a Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

Kershanna Harris of Davenport, IA, was awarded a 2 + 2 Bachelor in Nursing.

Machelle Pemberton of Davenport, IA, was awarded a Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

Christina Williams of Davenport, IA, was awarded a Associate of Applied Science in Health Sciences.

Marie Wilmont of Davenport, IA, was awarded a Master of Business Administration in Business Administration.

"Graduates like you must use your education and skill set to make this a stronger, more vibrant and dynamic nation," Ford told the approximately 730 graduates in attendance. "It takes courage and determination to improve your own life and the lives of those around you."

The Kaplan University summer 2010 class, which included more than 4,200 graduates, earned associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees - as well as professional certificates - completely online. Many of them traveled from around the country and the world to attend the ceremony, meeting face-to-face for the first time. Kaplan University has graduated nearly 27,000 online students since it began offering web-based degrees in 2001.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (08/10/2010)(readMedia)-- 85 Augustana students were honored recently at the Recognition of Student Honors Program. The annual ceremony highlights exceptional students from various academic departments through scholarships and awards.

The following students given awards are from your area:

Adam DeSimone was awarded with the Bruce R. Milligan Endowed Scholarship from the Economics department at Augustana College. The scholarship was established by Bruce R. Milligan, a 1978 graduate, in appreciation for the education received at Augustana. It is awarded to an economics major on the basis of academic achievement upon recommendation of the Department Chair. DeSimone is a junior from Bettendorf, IA majoring in economics and mathematics.

Deanna Zwicker was awarded with the Bruce R. Milligan Endowed Scholarship from the Economics department at Augustana College. The scholarship was established by Bruce R. Milligan, a 1978 graduate, in appreciation for the education received at Augustana. It is awarded to an economics major on the basis of academic achievement upon recommendation of the Department Chair. Zwicker is a senior from Orion, IL majoring in business administration-finance and economics.

Adelle DeVolder was awarded with the Harold E. and Louise Lage Swanson Scholarship from the Business Administration department at Augustana College. The scholarship is for students majoring in business administration. The award is based on academic achievement and potential for a business career. DeVolder is a senior from Moline, IL majoring in business administration-finance.

Alyssa Harmon was awarded with the Harold E. and Louise Lage Swanson Scholarship from the Business Administration department at Augustana College. The scholarship is for students majoring in business administration. The award is based on academic achievement and potential for a business career. Harmon is a senior from Moline, IL majoring in business administration-advising.

Courtney VandeWiele was awarded with the McGladrey Scholarship from the Accounting department at Augustana College. The scholarship is awarded from funds provided by the accounting firms individually. VandeWiele is a senior from Rock Island, IL majoring in political science and accounting.

Rayna Narvaez was awarded with the Ralph W. Hansen Endowed Scholarship from the Psychology department at Augustana College. The scholarship was established on the occasion of Ralph's 25th year at the college. It is awarded each year to a junior psychology major who has shown outstanding interest, ability and motivation in pursuing the study of psychology per recommendation by the Department of Psychology. Narvaez is a senior from Bettendorf, IA majoring in psychology and Spanish.

Lauren White was awarded with the S. James Galley Endowed Scholarships from the Accounting department at Augustana College. The scholarship was established by former students, present students and friends to recognize James Galley's twenty-five years of teaching at Augustana. White is a senior from East Moline, IL majoring in accounting.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls nearly 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 60 majors and areas of study. Augustana employs 226 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (08/10/2010)(readMedia)-- 85 Augustana students were honored recently at the Recognition of Student Honors Program. The annual ceremony highlights exceptional students from various academic departments through scholarships and awards.

Peter Wessels was awarded with the scholarship from the Business Administration department at Augustana College. The scholarship was established by Mrs. Thomas C. Montgomery in memory of her husband. The award is to be made annually, upon approval of the president and department heads, to students who exhibit academic achievement, integrity and disciplined effort in the pursuit of careers in the fields of economics and business administration. Wessels was also awarded with the Deere and Company Scholarship from the Accounting department. The scholarship is awarded from funds provided by the Deere Foundation. Wessels is a junior from Bettendorf, IA majoring in business administration-advising and accounting.

TEANECK, NJ (08/10/2010)(readMedia)-- Elizabeth Lonning, of Davenport , IA, a student on Fairleigh Dickinson University's Metropolitan Campus, located in Teaneck, N.J. has graduated as of May 2010.

The University's Metropolitan Campus for Professional and International Studies, located in the dynamic NY/NJ corridor in Teaneck, N.J., features a university atmosphere with an international perspective, attracting students from the U.S. and around the world. Undergraduates have access to the resources of a major graduate center and nearby New York City as an integral part of their learning experience.

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