This Week in College News: Berkeley Extends Financial Aid to Families Earning Over $80k

800px South Hall  UC Berkeley  PanoramicBy Megan Kenslea Staff

Every week StudentAdvisor compiles the top stories in college news. Here are some of the biggest stories that made the headlines this week: 

UC Berkeley to offer more financial aid for middle class students.

UC Berkeley officials announced plans this week to extend financial aid to students from households earning between $80,000 to $140,000 a year. One of the first public universities to offer financial assistance to a largely ignored population, Berkeley officials said the program hopes to bring students back to the school. “As a public institution, we feel strongly that we need to sustain and expand access across the socioeconomic spectrum,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said in a statement Wednesday. “This plan is part of our commitment to ensuring that financial challenges do not prevent qualified students from attending one of the preeminent public universities in the nation.” 

Microsoft’s network launches for college students.

Microsoft this week launched, a new social network for college students who study social media. An “experimental” social media service, will not be a competitor to Facebook, but rather serve as a complementary service meant to enhance students social media experience. Right now, the service is only available for students at the University of Washington, Syracuse University, and New York University. According to a Microsoft Research post, the mission of the service is for students “to extend their educational experience and rethink how they learn and communicate.”

Universities offer programs for students with disabilities

In the past, for some students with intellectual disabilities attending college has seemed like an impossibility. However, schools across the country have begun to create programs to give these students the opportunity to go to college. Programs like Vanderbilt University’sNext Steps” allow students with intellectual disabilities to take classes, live in apartments, and interact with students without cognitive disabilities. “Our goals with these programs are not unlike any other program or that of any other parent,” said Donald Bailey, Sr., who formed a nonprofit, College Transition Connection, to create college opportunities for such students in South Carolina. “We wanted him to have the educational experience in college, be independent, [find] gainful employment.”

Tufts students stage”Excessively overdressed Quad Stroll”

Once known for its “Naked Quad Run,” Tufts University students have a new tradition to boast about: the “Excessively Overdressed Quad Stroll.” Until last year, students celebrated the last day of classes each December by running naked through the residential quad. But last year, University officials banned the tradition, which dates to the 1970s, citing excessive alcohol-related incidents. So students this year did the opposite – overdressed to the nines, they strolled leisurely though the quad to celebrate the end of the year. “If this catches on, it will be a fine tradition,” said Bruce Reitman, the Tufts dean of student affairs.

(Thanks to Matthew D. for suggesting this story!)


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