Jul 23, 2015
Tragedy has taken the lives of two college students shot to death at a Walnut Creek home in an apparent murder-suicide. Walnut Creek police are investigating the North Homestead neighborhood after receiving calls of what neighbors claimed were gunshots around 6:50 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The victims have been identified as 19-year-old college student Clare Orton; of Walnut Creek, and 21-year-old Scott Bertics, of Lafayette. Police report the victims knew one another and had a previous dating relationship. Initial reports indicate Orton was shot while answering the front door, then immediately her ex-boyfriend turned the gun on himself.
“I didn’t hear anything this morning, but I’m in shock,” said one neighbor who asked that his name not be used. “I have a granddaughter the same age, so it hits close to home.”
Orton, a 2014 graduate of Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, was home from college after finishing her freshman year at San Diego State University. University spokesman, Greg Block claimed she was an honors student studying environmental engineering. Orton was also a member of SDSU’s Society of Women Engineers, a group now mourning the loss of their fellow environmental engineer.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones,” Madeleine Rasche wrote.
Bertics, a 2012 graduate of Acalanes High School in Lafayette, enrolled at the University of Stanford in 2012, but took a voluntary leave of absence in the fall of 2014. He had yet to declare a major, but was listed on a 2013 demonstration called “Controlling Robot Dynamics with Spiking Neurons.”
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Posted Under:College Life , College News , Press Releases
Tags:College and Society , College News , College Students
Under the Obama administration, the motto “work hard, play harder” is continually being redefined to “work hard, pay harder”. According to The Wall Street Journal, a new plan is being finalized that will allow millions of low-income Americans to slash their monthly student-debt bills, in turn raising taxpayer costs for the government’s mushrooming student-loan portfolio. This week the Education Department proposed to expand eligibility for the Pay As You Earn program, which sets borrowers’ monthly payments as a small share of their income.
Education Department officials report that six million more Americans will become eligible this autumn for PAYE. The program caps monthly loan payments at 10 percent of discretionary income, defined as the amount above 150 percent of the poverty level. Well-paid graduates and those working minimum-wage jobs will be paying equivalent proportions of their income towards their student debt. While low-income borrowers who have incurred an unusually large federal debt reap the benefits of the revised program, a majority of college graduates and taxpayers will continue to suffer.
With a current outstanding student debt of $1.2 trillion, the White House continues to give people an economic incentive not to repay a loan. Because these loans are issued regardless of the borrower’s ability to repay, opponents of PAYE say the loans fund basic living expenses with tens of thousands of borrowers consuming aid even when they’re not enrolled for courses. Universities have also taken advantage of the flawed program, offering to pay student’s monthly bills under PAYE while simultaneously raising tuitions. The loans are turning into six-figure grants, debts the taxpayers incur.
Is the Obama Administration setting a double standard, promoting income equality, yet essentially paying young people not to pursue higher incomes? Is PAYE a program that allows those enrolled to take advantage of the system, while punishing those who work hard for their money?
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Posted Under:Back to School , College and the Economy , College Costs , College Grants , College in Congress , College News , Financial Aid , Grants , Student Loans
Tags:College and the Economy , College Costs , College Grants , College in Congress , College News , College Students , Financial Aid , Financial Aid Information , Financial Aid News , Loan Repayment , Loans , Student Debt , Student Loans
Whether it’s Bruce Jenner’s interview with Diane Sawyer outlining his journey from the world’s greatest athlete, to a surgery which induced womanhood, or actress Laverne Cox breaking the trans glass ceiling in the Netflix’s hit series, Orange Is the New Black, where a trans woman is actually played by a trans woman, the transgender community continues to break the boundaries of social acceptance. The transgender push for equality has now shattered the Higher Education glass ceiling. According to the Washington Post, starting next fall, University of California applicants will be the first wave of students given the option to signal their sexual orientation and any number of gender identities on their application.
This change is one of several new accommodations the university has made in effort to make the campus as inclusive as possible. “I think it introduces the kind of welcoming environment we want to have just by introducing the question on the first thing students will see, which is the application they’re filling out. We think it’s very important,” said Pamela Brown, vice president for institutional research and academic planning, who serves on the system-wide-advisory council on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.
UC undergraduate program applicants will now have the option to answer the following questions:
How do you describe yourself?(Mark one answer)
What sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate?
Do you consider yourself to be (Mark one answer):
The university hopes to one day implement these options in graduate study and employment applications. The information will enable them to track such students in order to monitor graduation rates and determine if the support available is sufficient.
President Janet Napolitano, who pushed for these changes with the creation of a task force last summer said “it doesn’t stop [here] – we must continue to look at where we can improve so everyone at UC feels respected and supported.”
University officials note that an applicant’s answer to any of the questions holds no bearing on chances for admission.