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Saint Mary’s community discusses financial cost of education at the College

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the final part in a series exploring the experiences of low socioeconomic students at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s.The financial burden of a private school education is something students often spend many hours thinking about, and the students at Saint Mary’s are no different.Therese Pingel said she eagerly began her first year at Saint Mary’s in the fall of 2016, ready to take advantage of all the opportunities the College afforded. However, she soon came to realize how expensive it is to be a Belle. “I liked the idea of the Saint Mary’s community,” she said. “I loved the idea of a women-focused education, so that was the main draw for Saint Mary’s. But I think I just started to feel like the amount of money that I was paying and the sacrifices my family was making didn’t balance out. I didn’t really feel like I was getting this deeper sense of fulfillment out of the Saint Mary’s experience.”Pingel, who transferred to Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) in 2017, said she initially did not realize how much of a financial investment Saint Mary’s was until the bills began piling up and she had to take out a $5,000 loan just to support herself at the College.“Growing up in South Bend, a lot of people aren’t really aware of how expensive Saint Mary’s is because the idea is that Saint Mary’s is the poor woman’s Notre Dame,” she said. “People don’t really think about Saint Mary’s as a financial investment like they do Notre Dame.”Saint Mary’s Associate Dean of Advising Susan Vanek said the College works hard to find solutions for students who are financially struggling to finish their degree.“At the College and in Academic Affairs, we are aware and sensitive to the needs of students who face financial challenges and do what we can to find solutions to help students finish their degree at Saint Mary’s,” she said.Madison Sparks, a Saint Mary’s sophomore, said she will also be transferring to IUSB next year because the tuition is rising so exponentially that she and her family can hardly keep up. “My stepdad works at Notre Dame, so we get their tuition remission, and that’s the only way I can afford to be here, actually, because they’re covering all of my tuition,” she said. “And they, [associate dean for advising Susan] Vanek especially, told me that it was impossible for me to finish my degree before that money ran out because I only have three semesters left.”Vanek said Academic Affairs “has no control over and cannot change policies” for students in tuition remission programs, which grant monetary assistance based on eligibility factors outside of financial need.“If a student says that she only has three semesters of tuition remission remaining and if her major requirements are sequenced such that she cannot finish within three semesters, I have to be honest with her so she has time to make an informed decision and, when possible, I suggest other majors she could finish within the time limitation of her tuition remission,” Vanek said.Saint Mary’s offers an encouraging amount of aid to students for their freshman year, Pingel said, but that money soon begins to disappear as the years wear on.  “Saint Mary’s kind of has this reputation going that they’ll give you money your freshman year, then they’ll pull the rug right out from under you and all of a sudden you don’t have as much money as you thought you did,” she said.Sophomore Sophia McDevitt said she felt the College misled her into believing that merit scholarships would reflect the rising rates of tuition. “They don’t tell you that merit scholarships don’t increase with tuition when tuition increases,” she said. “And they don’t tell you that if you get a merit scholarship for a certain GPA you got in high school, if you do better in college, it doesn’t go up.”Although Pingel did not want to leave Saint Mary’s, she said the administration was not helpful in finding her viable economic solutions. “I didn’t experience a ton of proactive behavior from the administration as I was to trying to figure out how to balance these things,” she said. “When I was trying to figure out if I could make Saint Mary’s work financially, it was a long discernment process. I spent a lot of time talking to someone from the administrative office, and she warned me, because I was trying to think if it would be doable if I moved off campus, that financial aid will often readjust if you are not living on campus. So what do I do here? You’re putting me in a position where I’m trying to fit for my education and you’re not giving me anything.”In light of these complaints, Vanek said Academic Affairs has a variety of solutions and accommodations it tries to offer to applicable students.“Because we are a small college, we are able to work closely with each student to try and meet her individual needs,” she said. “One example of this personal attention is our allowing students with financial need to take courses at other less expensive colleges during the summer or later to finish their degree requirements. We also work closely with faculty members to ask for special accommodations for a student who could benefit from some flexibility.”Despite these programs, Sparks said she has similar feelings about the administration’s indifference to her financial circumstances.“A major deciding factor for me was that Saint Mary’s didn’t sell it,” she said. “I felt like they weren’t really willing to try to put together a plan, even if it meant taking classes at IUSB over the summer and transferring them in.”Campus Ministry director Regina Wilson said that in the past she witnessed the College provide assistance to students with financial need.“The College has access to help students, has access to funds to help students when we know that there’s need and the College has done that many times in my years here,” she said. One such fund is the Student Emergency Fund, a small fund that helps students with a personal emergency not related to paying their bills. The fund has been managed by vice president of student affairs Karen Johnson since she came to Saint Mary’s in 2006.“Once I get all the information, I am in contact with the vice president for enrollment management to ensure that there really is a need,” Johnson said in an email. “ … This fund is not to supplement financial aid. It is to help with costs that are unexpected. For instance, a plane ticket to get home in an emergency, a book that wasn’t on the initial list, a fee for a test.”Though Johnson said she encourages students to reach out if they are in need of assistance, there are still limits to what assistance the College can provide.“The vice president for mission, the vice president for enrollment management, the director of residence life and the director of multicultural services and I work together as a team when we find out about a student in need,” Johnson said. “There are, however, limitations to what we can do and how much financial aid we can offer.”An additional resource introduced this past school year is a scholarship for Senior Week tickets. Senior Katherine Ryan, Student Government Association (SGA) treasurer, said SGA decided to give ten seniors the opportunity to attend Senior Week for free. The chosen students were selected by the Office of Multicultural Services and Financial Aid to keep interested students anonymous, Ryan said.“Just having [Senior Week] is going to be such a fun memory to have leading up to graduation,” she said. “I would hate to know that a student didn’t get to have that. I feel like if money were to hinder someone it would be extremely unfortunate, and so by offering this I think it gives every student the chance to have that last sense of bonding with the Saint Mary’s community.”Pingel said she still keeps in touch with the Belles she met during her year at Saint Mary’s, and, during a recent trip to campus, she got her first full experience of the new Angela Athletic Facility. “I’ve been on campus a couple times this year but this is the first time that I’ve seen the new Angela [Athletic Facility] building,” she said. “It’s my understanding that that building was funded entirely by alumnae donations, so that makes me think, ‘Where is the rest of the money going? Where is the tuition being distributed?’” Pingel said she feels the College could benefit from becoming more transparent about its finances.“Show me what you’re doing with all the tuition money,” she said. “I don’t see the development of Saint Mary’s happening. I don’t see the development of new programs coming up. I don’t see the transparency that I think Saint Mary’s women deserve.” As for the future, Pingel said she doubts any sort of higher education will become more affordable. “I actually have a lot of people in my life who are Saint Mary’s alumnae who have graduated 10 years ago or more [and] who are still paying off their loans,” Pingel said. “And that’s normal — I would say most people experience that. But at the same time, tuition was a lot cheaper then, so what is it going to be like as costs keep inflating?” In spite of the cost of a college education, the demographics of higher education are changing. Justice Studies professor Andrew Pierce said higher education has seen a recent influx of those of a low socioeconomic status, who are now considered the new majority.  “I do know that the demographics in higher education are changing, and we’re seeing more students from low-income families, first-generation students, older working students and students of color on university and college campuses,” he said. “Some scholars of higher education have begun referring to these students together as ‘new majority’ students.”Vanek said the Saint Mary’s administration is aware of the challenges faced by low-income students and the administration is committed to assisting those students.“We value all our students, but we are especially committed to helping our students who face serious financial challenges,” she said.Wilson said she is hopeful for the future and feels that everyone in the campus community should do their part in allowing Belles to thrive.“Whether we reach all the students who actually have need, we’re trying to get better,” she said. “A lot of reaching out is not only responding to [a student’s] physical needs or their financial needs, but just as a person in this community. Feeling welcomed and feeling that you’re a part of the community. When you are struggling with [financial problems], you can feel outside of it. You see a lot of students enjoying things, going out, doing things, and you can’t do that maybe because you don’t have the financial resources. It affects your ability to feel like part of the community. You know, the College isn’t just administrators. It’s also the students.”Tags: financial aid, low-income students, saint mary’s, Tuitionlast_img read more

Justice Sonia Sotomayor to headline Vermont’s 15th Annual Women’s Economic Conference

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says this year’s 15th Annual Vermont Women’s Economic Opportunity Conference, set for Saturday, October 8, in Randolph, will feature a special guest: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Leahy said Justice Sotomayor will begin this year’s sessions with a question-and-answer forum with conference-goers.   ‘Marcelle and I are delighted that she is coming to Vermont,’ said Leahy.  ‘She personifies the American Dream, and her life and achievements already have inspired so many.  She is a perfect match for this conference and its purpose.’ This is the 15th year for the popular day-long conferences, which Leahy launched 15 years ago.  The free sessions will be hosted at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, Vermont, with lunch and child care included.  This year’s practical, how-to workshops will offer tools for women at all stages of professional development, to expand and succeed in business planning and strategic media planning, to hone leadership skills, and to discover and apply techniques in work-and-life balance.  Online registration for the conference begins September 6 at www.leahy.senate.gov(link is external). (FRIDAY, Aug. 26) — Senator Patrick Leahylast_img read more

EPA plan won’t change price advantage of gas over coal

first_imgEPA plan won’t change price advantage of gas over coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The New York Times:America’s ailing coal industry was buoyed on Tuesday when the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a proposal to relax pollution regulations on coal-fired power plants. President Trump traveled to West Virginia to tout the planned measure, telling supporters, “We’re putting our great coal miners back to work.”Yet the reality on the ground for the nation’s coal industry remains bleak. Even the Trump administration’s own numbers suggest that its latest proposal won’t reverse the sharp decline of coal power, which has been crushed by competition from cheaper natural gas and renewable energy over the past decade.More than 200 coal plants have shut down since 2010, and another 40 plants have announced they will close in the years ahead, with virtually no new coal plants being built today.At best, if finalized, the E.P.A.’s newest rollback could help a small number of those endangered coal plants stave off retirement for a bit longer, albeit at the expense of increased air pollution. But even in that scenario, the agency’s own analysis showed, coal power would still decline by 20 percent between now and 2030 and coal mining would drop by one-third. “This is like throwing a few snowballs into a blizzard,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “You might see a plant here or a plant there that benefits from the new rules. But we’re talking about very minor changes compared with the significant gap between the cost of coal and the cost of natural gas.”More: Trump’s New Pollution Rules Still Won’t Save the Coal Industrylast_img read more

Polish power company Tauron takes small step into solar generation

first_imgPolish power company Tauron takes small step into solar generation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:Polish power company and coal miner Tauron Polska Energia S.A. has launched a tender for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) service contractors for a 3.1-5 MW solar park planned for Jaworzno, near Katowice in southern Poland, where the company is based.Tauron said the project is part of a new program to deploy ground-mounted PV plants on its unused sites. Interested EPCs have until September 13 to bid. No details of the terms of the contract or the identity of the energy offtaker were revealed in Tauron’s announcement of the tender.“The program is currently being prepared, including obtaining the necessary administrative licenses,” the company said. The miner plans to install projects at five decommissioned power plants and landfills.Tauron said solar parks will be built in Mysłowice, also near Katowice, and at Stalowa Wola, in southeastern Poland. The power company is planning to install around 300 MW of solar and 900 MW of wind power generation capacity by 2025.The company is Poland’s second largest electricity supplier, with 5.1 GW of installed generation capacity. Larger rival PGE also recently made its first steps into PV and has announced its first corporate power supply deal, for a 5 MW solar plant.Another Polish coal company and electricity provider, Zespół Elektrowni Pątnów-Adamów-Konin SA said in November it will deploy a large-scale PV plant at a depleted area of the extensive Adamów brown coal mine in Turek, in the center of Poland. That plant may be intended to replace generation capacity lost in January with the closure of the Adamów power station, a five-unit, coal-fired plant with a 600 MW capacity at the mine.More: Polish mining company to deploy solar on dead coal siteslast_img read more

U.S. SEALs Train Peruvian Navy Commandos

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo August 23, 2017 Nine members of the U.S. Navy Special Operations Force, together with 48 elite commandos from the Peruvian Navy (MGP, per its Spanish acronym), will conduct Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) to bolster their response to the fight against criminal networks. As part of the cooperation between the governments of the United States and Peru, and the Peruvian Armed Forces’ 2017 operational activities program with foreign militaries, highly trained and qualified elite commandos from both countries are conducting a combined training plan on the island of Isla San Lorenzo, Peru, from July 14th to September 13th. “The training objective is to develop and improve the operational capabilities of our special operations squads in their maritime duties,” Commander Ricardo Devoto Gagliardi, the commander of the MGP’s Special Operations Group No. 1, told Diálogo. “They are going to contribute to the nation’s security, to maintaining order domestically, and supporting the government’s strategic policies.” Members of an elite U.S. Navy SEAL team and the MGP’s Special Operations Force (FOES, per its Spanish acronym), together with their respective equipment, arms, and munitions, are training on combat abilities and techniques in four operational areas: direct action, special reconnaissance, explosives deactivation, and coastal combat. The goal is to be ready at all times to carry out the most difficult missions effectively. Within the direct action phase, the SEALs evaluated FOES warriors in their maritime interdiction operations and in urban combat operations, which includes rescuing hostages, searching facilities, and urban sniper tactics. Additionally, they are sharing their knowledge and experience in amphibious assault operations and the use of tactical divers. In the military exercises linked to the special reconnaissance phase, Peruvian Navy combatants are taught the techniques of camouflage, stealth, and lying in wait, as well as information techniques, human connection, and how to transmit combat intelligence. Training is conducted using next generation arms and equipment. During the amphibious part of JCET, special operations squadrons exchange and master their skills of reconnaissance, identification, and IED handling. Similarly, the elite U.S. units contribute to developing the Peruvian soldiers’ capabilities in searches and attacks, high-mobility stealth deployments, and maritime exploration duties in support of coastal combat. “Through this training, MGP will have more capacity and be better prepared to participate in strategic operations against terrorists, transnational threats, and other illegal activities,” Cmdr. Devoto commented. “Definitely, this cooperation contributes to strengthening international relations, especially with the U.S. Navy.” “The level of cooperation between both navies is excellent,” Jorge Serrano, a founding partner of the security consultancy Spartan Consulting Group in Peru, told Diálogo. “Thanks to this fruitful relationship, Peru’s elite corps benefits from the capabilities of the best-trained force in the world through combined exercises.” The Peruvian Navy FOES were established in 1980. Since then, they have been carrying out duties such as long-range infiltration on land, in the air, and at sea, from submarines and other vessels of various sizes, to missions via air transport, reconnaissance and demolition operations, ambushes, counterinsurgency operations in rural and urban areas, and blowing up obstacles on land and at sea. Results of JCET training Cmdr. Devoto stressed that, since its creation, the MGP’s FOES have interacted with members of U.S. Navy special operations. Since 2013, both military institutions have conducted frequent joint training. “FOES and the U.S. Navy carried out a JCET between February and March of 2017,” he said. “This was meant to train the special operations soldiers deployed on strategic missions in VRAEM [Apurímac, Ene, and Mantaro River Valley, per its Spanish acronym] in the month of May.” VRAEM is a large, hostile zone that is considered to be the center of gravity for the remaining members of the the narco-terrorist group Shining Path. “Lately, JCET exercises are being held in the same theater of operations where Shining Path terrorists and drug trafficking mafias are holed up, in order to yield benefits at the strategic level and add to these complex military tasks,” Serrano indicated. “In military strategy, there is no such thing as a coincidence.” According to Cmdr. Devoto, the MGP’s two special operations squadrons, trained during the first 2017 JCET, had a relevant role in the capture of a fugitive drug trafficker during an incursion into VRAEM. He was captured by a Peruvian Armed Forces team comprising Navy, Army, Air Force, and National Police personnel. “They [the squadrons] were deployed to undertake operations in VRAEM. For approximately 15 days they were in the VRAEM area, conducting continuous operations,” Cmdr. Devoto explained. “The operation was conducted away from the coast, and helicopters and special insertion techniques were used. The operation brought with it a set of technical and operational complications that were managed thanks to the training provided by the Americans.” Regional network to counter criminal threats Because the sea lanes are a zone where a large number of illicit activities such as drug trafficking occur, MGP is looking to interact not only with U.S. special forces but also with the elite units of other nations. The goal is to increase the existing ties of cooperation in the fight against these threats. Cmdr. Devoto indicated that the Peruvian Navy, together with the Colombian Navy’s Special Operations Force, is studying whether to build bridges between the two naval institutions and the U.S. Navy in order to move forward with tripartite activities. The end goal is to improve their channels of communication, increase training of special operations squadrons, and constitute a regional network to respond to transnational threats. “We work in rapidly changing settings against unconventional adversaries who are able to focus, emerge, act, show themselves, and later evade detection by state security forces. The best way to combat an illegal network is with another network, a regional network,” Cmdr. Devoto noted. “Just as it is important to train our Peruvian soldiers to raise their level of interoperability, and just as it is important to create a network to preserve security along the remote and isolated borders that Peru shares with Colombia, we must also have a better system of national intelligence,” Serrano added.last_img read more

Is it easier to save money when you pay with cash?

first_imgConsumers who have bank accounts have gotten used to paying for everything with a debit or credit card. People might carry some cash, but they rarely spend it.But there’s some research which suggests that paying for things with cash makes you think about the purchase more because the transaction is more real. You don’t see the money going out of your bank account and into the cash register with a card. You do when you hand over cash in exchange for whatever you’re buying.Writing in the Journal of Consumer Research, researchers in Canada and the U.S. suggest paying with greenbacks might even make you appreciate your purchase more.“While the convenience of going cashless is undeniable, it comes with an inadvertent downside – we tend to value purchases less when using a card than when we pay via the more ‘painful’ methods of cash or check,” the authors write. continue reading » 20SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Germany’s pension insurance fund confirms higher levy

first_imgThe long-term average contribution rate to the insolvency fund is 0.27%.Announcing the final rate this week, PSV said companies contributing to the fund would be paying around €1.1bn this year (2018: €725m), based on total balance sheet pension reserves of €348bn.In the first half of 2019, recorded business insolvencies were down 3.7% on the first year of 2018, according to the German statistical office, but in October it announced that local courts had reported 0.2% more business insolvencies in July 2019 than in July the year before.A relatively high profile insolvency in recent months has been that of UK travel group Thomas Cook, which filed for insolvency proceedings in late September. Its German subsidiary followed the parent company into insolvency.  The pension plan sponsored by Thomas Cook in Germany had liabilities of around £365m (€417m) as of 30 September 2018.PSV does not comment on individual companies, a spokesman told IPE.The PSV is broadly comparable with the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) in the UK, although with some differences, for example with regard to the proportion of benefits they cover and caps on the compensation. Germany’s pension insolvency fund has set the levy rate for 2019 at a higher level than that forecast in July, as it had subsequently warned members would likely be the case.The final rate for 2019 will be 31 basis points, compared with 21 basis points in 2018.In July the Pensionssicherungsverein (PSV) told members that the contribution rate could be less than 20 basis points, but in early October it announced the rate would likely be considerably higher – between 30 and 35 basis points – on account of “multiple insolvencies in the last few months”.These would lead to a noticeably higher claims volume than what had been expected in the middle of the year, the Cologne-based institution said at the time.last_img read more

Petrobras reaches new pre-salt records

first_imgOil and natural gas production abroad New records in pre-salt production In June, oil production operated by Petrobras, which includes own share and partners, in the pre-salt layer, hit two new records: the monthly record, at 1.35 million bpd, and the daily record, achieved on June 19, at 1.42 million barrels. In addition, operated oil and natural gas production reached the new record of 1.69 million boed.These results are due mainly to the production start at platform P-66, in the Lula field, and the entry into production of new producer wells throughout 2017 on FPSOs Cidade de Caraguatatuba, Cidade of Ilhabela, Cidade de Maricá, Cidade de Mangaratiba and Cidade de Saquarema – all of them installed in Santos Basin. In June, oil production in overseas fields was at 65 thousand bpd, a volume 0.1% higher than the previous month.Natural gas production was 8.1 million m³/d, 13% below the volume produced in May 2017. This reduction was mainly the result of lower demand for gas production in Bolivia and production drop in the Hadrian South field, in the USA. Brazilian oil giant Petrobras reached two new records in its production from the pre-salt layer in June. The state-owned company reported on Monday that its total oil and natural gas production in June was 2.81 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), of which 2.70 million boed produced in Brazil and 113 thousand boed produced abroad.The average oil production in Brazil was 2.20 million barrels per day (bpd), a volume 0.6% higher than in May. The company explained that this result was due mainly to the return to production after scheduled stoppage of platform P-43, in the Barracuda and Caratinga fields, in Campos Basin, and FPSO Cidade de Mangaratiba, in the Lula field, in Santos Basin’s pre-salt.In June, natural gas production in Brazil, excluding the liquefied volume, was 80.3 million m³/d, 1.8% above the previous month. The company stated that this increase was due mainly to the return to production of FPSO Cidade de Mangaratiba.last_img read more

Man caught over domestic violence rap

first_imgThe suspect was taken to the Janiuay municipal police station. The 25-year-old resident Mateo Renovar was caught on June 30, a police report showed. ILOILO City – Accused of domestic violence, a man was nabbed in Barangay Aquino Nobleza East, Janiuay, Iloilo. Renovar’s apprehension was staged on the strength of an arrest warrant the court issued in relation to the charge for violation of Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act of 2004) he faces. The court recommended a P12,000 bail bond for his temporary liberty./PNlast_img

Mignolet relishing Reds challenge

first_img The Belgium international completed his move from Sunderland on Tuesday night after putting pen to paper on a long-term contract, and he is set to battle against Reina and Brad Jones for a starting berth. Reina has been closely linked with a return to old club Barcelona over the last few months, but the Spaniard insists he sees his future at Liverpool. Manager Brendan Rodgers has also stressed 25-year-old Mignolet has not been signed as a replacement. “It’s a challenge, but that’s what you want. You want to play in the big games, you want to play for a big club and to play with pressure,” said Mignolet, whose transfer fee could rise to more than £11million. Press Association “I’m very confident in myself and my own abilities and I can’t wait to get the first clean sheet under my belt. I’ve never been a nervous person. I’m quite confident in my own abilities.” He added: “Competition can only be a good thing. I’ve been in big competitions wherever I’ve been – in Belgium with the national team and in Sunderland with Craig Gordon and Keiren Westwood, who are international goalies. Now it’s the same again with Pepe and with Brad. “It’s only a good thing – to be competitive and to train as hard as you can, it can only bring the best out of you. “Pepe is an experienced goalkeeper who has proven a lot over the years. I’m looking forward to working with him, the same as I am with Brad and the goalie coach.” Mignolet, who becomes the Reds’ fourth signing of the summer following Manchester City’s Kolo Toure, Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas and Sevilla’s Luis Alberto, also refuses to be daunted by the step up to Liverpool. “It’s a big club and when you arrive it’s a big thing,” he told liverpoolfc.com. “I’m very pleased to be here and I’m looking forward to getting started.” Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio, meanwhile, thanked keeper Mignolet for his efforts at the Stadium of Light. The Italian told the club’s official website, www.safc.com: “Simon is a fantastic footballer, a fantastic professional and a fantastic lad and I would like to personally thank him for his contribution to the team last season.” center_img New Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is looking forward to the challenge of trying to supplant Jose Reina as the Reds’ number one.last_img read more