Jul 12, 2007
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Thursday, July 12 , 2007
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New Hampshire University System Approves Tuition and Aid Increase

By Amit Agarwal

The University System of New Hampshire's board of trustees has approved a budget that includes a nearly 7% tuition hike for 2007-2008 in-state students. The budget also includes a 5.2% increase in tuition for out-of-state students along with an 11.3% increase in student financial aid. The university system has been increasing tuition and aid since 2000. Since then, tuition has risen by about 6% each year, while financial aid has increased by about 12%.

Tuition for in-state students will be up by 6.9% at the University of New Hampshire, where students will have to pay $19,238. Plymouth State University and Keene State College will witness similar percentage increases; their students will have to cough up almost $16,000. Tuition for out-of-state students at UNH will be approximately $32,000, while Keene and Plymouth students will pay about $23,000.

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Texas A&M Charged with Failure to Report Human Exposure to Biological Agents

By Amit Agarwal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indefinitely suspended Texas A&M University's federal research on the most dangerous infectious diseases. The university allegedly failed to report two 2006 incidents of researcher exposure to biological agents.

The Sunshine Project, an Austin-based bioweapons watchdog group, released records indicating that in April 2006 three biodefense researchers were exposed to the weapons agent Q fever. A couple of months earlier, another researcher fell sick after being infected with Brucella while cleaning a room that was used to assess the effects of the bacterium on mice. Sunshine Project organizers obtained the lab's accident report under the state's Public Information Act. Although not usually fatal to humans, both diseases are difficult to cure.

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Key amendments to College Cost Reduction Act submitted

Per the July 3 deadline set by the Rules Committee, committee members have submitted their proposed amendments to the controversial College Cost Reduction Act. The bill cuts $19 billion in subsidies to lenders participating in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) and shifts the funds to Pell Grants and other forms of student financial aid. Among the amendments submitted were Rep. George Miller's proposal to create a new fee for guaranty agencies and Rep. Howard McKeon's substitute bill that would transfer more money to increase Pell Grants. The Rules Committee, which will meet the week of July 9, 2007, will grant a rule to structure the amendment process for floor consideration of the act.

NASFAA president set to retire by December

Having served 32 years as president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Dallas Martin is finally set to retire by December. An announcement of his retirement was made by email to the NASFAA board by its chair, Janet Dodson. According to Dodson, Martin began making his retirement plans a year ago. His last year as president of the organization has not been his smoothest, as student loan scandals have hit not only NASFAA members but also the organization. Martin earlier criticized New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo for his harsh words against college financial aid administrators and later had to apologize after seeing the extent of Cuomo's findings. The group also chose to embrace the code of conduct created by Cuomo. Reportedly, some NASFAA board members were unhappy with Martin's decision to settle with the attorney general.

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