Aug 30, 2007
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Thursday, August 30 , 2007
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Spellings announces $12 million in grants for tribally controlled schools

By Amit Agarwal

Nine tribally controlled colleges and universities will receive federal grants worth nearly $12 million. U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced that the grant, provided under Title III of the Higher Education Act, will allow colleges and universities to develop activities to improve and expand their services for students with Native American heritages.

Spellings said, "Tribal colleges and universities provide thousands of students [with] the education foundation they need to be successful in the workforce and in life. They also perform a valuable service by helping to preserve the languages and rich cultural traditions of American Indians."

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Scam Artists Targeting College Students Seeking Financial Aid

By Surajit Sen Sharma

According to the Better Business Bureau, consumer complaints against loan, grant, and scholarship services increased by 60% in 2006 across the U.S. Steve Cox, spokesperson for the BBB, said, "There are many unscrupulous businesses and outright scams taking advantage of overwhelmed parents who are just trying to put their child through school."

In a report warning parents and college students to avoid financial aid frauds, the BBB reported on the following recent examples:

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U.S. News & World Report meets with controversy

U.S. News & World Report, which has ranked Princeton University as the nation's top college for the eighth consecutive time, has met with some controversy. A number of colleges have opted not to provide further information to the magazine. According to Lloyd Thacker, a former college counselor who heads the Oregon-based Education Conservancy, U.S. News & World Report "has distorted and skewed how admissions are perceived." Thacker, who says colleges should not be ranked on the basis of a uniform scale, is leading the nationwide opposition to the 24-year-old U.S. News rankings. Groups including the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the Council of Independent Colleges, the Education Conservancy, and the Annapolis Group are working to develop an alternative system for collecting college information.

Cuomo investigates study-abroad programs

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has initiated investigations into relations between colleges and third-party providers of study-abroad programs for students. According to Cuomo's office, some schools are receiving perks, including cash incentives, from vendors—a practice that benefits schools and vendors but not students. The attorney general has begun issuing subpoenas to organizations involved in providing study-abroad programs to schools. The move was instigated by a recent New York Times article that highlighted perks being offered by vendors to build relationships with colleges and encourage them to register their students for the vendors' study-abroad programs.

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