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Archive for February, 2009

The MU Faculty Council approved a new finals week schedule this week that moves Reading Day to a Thursday and starts exams on Friday.

Council members are hopeful the change will be in place for the Fall 2009 semester. 

Under the policy change, classes would end Wednesday, with no classes Thursday and finals beginning Friday. Exams would end the following Thursday.

This would leave a Friday available for individual make-up exams.  If an exam day is canceled, it would be rescheduled for the now available Friday.

According to council member David Trinklein, the change was recommended to avoid a conflict between exams and graduation ceremonies, which typically start on a Friday and to provide the extra day in case of inclement weather.

Moving Reading Day eliminates a three day weekend students and professors had before exams started.

So, what are your thoughts?  Should the final exam schedule be changed?  Were you someone who used the three-day weekend to go home and prepare for finals there?  

You can post your comments here or on the article from the Columbia Missourian.

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Gordon Lamb, who served as the UM System’s interim president between April 2007 and February 2008, announced Monday that he will retire, effective March 1.

Since Gary Forsee’s appointment as system president last year, Lamb has served as system executive vice president.

Read more by Nathan Winters at ColumbiaMissourian.com.

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Correction: FAFSA deadline

According to the Student Financial Aid office, the deadline for the FAFSA at MU is March 1st. In a previous post, I stated April 1st by mistake.

Sorry for the mix-up… register online today!

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Pell Grant Increases By $500

The recently passed stimulus bill provides billions of dollars for higher education, but there are a few bonuses that affect  families directly. Pell Grants provide need-based grants to low-income families and students.

The amount of the grant given is based on a few factors: family income, cost of attendance, full time or part time status, and how long the student will be attending. The stimulus bill will increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010, according to a summary from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It has also been said that this increase will allow more students to obtain the grants, which do not need to be paid back.

All students are invited to apply for the grant. Families can register for postsecondary financial aid through the FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You can obtain the FAFSA by calling the US Dept. of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID or by picking up a copy at your local college or high school. The preferred way to register is online here.

After filling out the FAFSA, the university will receive the information from the Dept. of Education and will notfiy students if they are eligible for the Pell Grant or any other financial aid.

State deadlines are usually earlier than the federal deadline and Missouri is no different. Missouri’s deadline is April 1. The FAFSA usually takes some time to complete, so don’t delay!

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Is your diploma legit?

Senator Matt Bartle is currently sponsoring a bill that would prohibit the use of or attempted use of false or misleading diplomas. Violating the act would be a Class C Misdemeanor. The last action on the bill was a hearing conducted by the Education Committee on Jan. 28.

Officials at the Missouri Dept. of Higher Education say around 200,000 false diplomas are used every year.

Stay tuned for more information. The Senate Education Committee could vote on it as early as this week.

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Drop by the Memorial Student Union tonight between 8 p.m. and midnight and here’s a sampling of what you can expect:

  • Mix-and-match speed dating
  • Free pizza, soda and other treats
  • Love-song karaoke
  • Valentine arts and crafts

Free for MU students with a student ID; $5 for everyone else.

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From The Christian Science Monitor:

New education spending alone is close to $100 billion. It includes $40.6 billion to local school districts to avoid budget cuts and layoffs and to upgrade schools, plus $5 billion in bonus grants to states that meet performance measures under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

For college students, the higher education tax credit is increased to $2,500 and made partially refundable – a move targeted at some 4 million low-income students. In addition, the maximum Pell Grant, also targeted to low-income students, is raised by $500 to a maximum of $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010.

Click here to read the whole story.

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