Aug 09, 2007
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Thursday, August 9 , 2007
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Ithaka Advocates Online Publishing by Universities

By Nihit Aurora

Scholars studying at American universities have a wide range of avenues available to them for distributing their scholarly work. The Internet has added an extra dimension to their endeavors, extending the concept of academic publishing to include "virtual" publishing.

The nonprofit group Ithaka provides a variety of services that benefit higher education. It recently published a report calling for the use of the Internet and new technology for scholarly publishing by universities in the United States.

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Start Buying the Music or Face It, says RIAA

By Surajit Sen Sharma

On July 18, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sent out more than 400 letters to 23 schools informing them of illegal downloading of music on their campuses. The RIAA asked the universities to forward the letters to errant students. The University of Florida received around 50 letters, while Florida International University received about 16. Ohio State University received 19 letters and forwarded them to students. Several universities, including the University of Wisconsin and University of North Dakota, have refused to comply with the RIAA's request.

Since February, the RIAA has sent out more than 2,400 pre-litigation letters to campuses across the country in an effort to check illegal downloading and music sharing. However, many remain skeptical of the methods adopted by the RIAA and its decision to target college students.

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Report reveals 76% of full-time undergraduates receive federal aid

The Department of Education's data collection and analysis division has published its report on financial aid to undergraduates. The report states that as many as three-fourths of full-time undergraduates (76%) received financial aid, while a large number of them (60%) received federal government aid. Similarly, in its yearly Digest of Education Statistics for the 2005-2006 school year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveals that of the 54% of part-time undergraduate students who received financial aid, 38% of them received federal aid. Full-time students received $9,899 in aid per year on average, while part-time students received approximately $4,860 annually. The average federal aid amount was $7,304.

Senate approves reworking of Higher Education Act

The U.S. Senate has approved an overhaul of the primary law governing federal aid to colleges and the students who attend them. The Senate-approved version of the act includes a condition that states college and university financial aid officers who receive anything of value in exchange for promoting a lender will be considered to be acting illegally. Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act has been delayed since 2003 and still awaits the U.S. House and President Bush's consent before it becomes law. The Senate's stipulations require colleges and universities to adopt codes of conduct akin to the code New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo devised for governing the behavior of financial aid officers and lenders.

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