USG eclips August 27, 2015

USG Institutions:
Georgia State Enrolls Highest-Achieving, Largest, Most Diverse Freshman Class
Georgia State University has set records this fall for the size, diversity and quality of its freshman class. With 3,800 freshmen enrolled as of Aug. 25, the entering first-year students have a record high school grade-point average (GPA) of 3.42, and the highest ACT scores of any freshman class in the university’s history. Last fall’s freshman class of 3,370 students had an average high-school GPA of 3.4, the previous record.
State, Albany State University investigating Financial Aid Office
The investigation is looking at possible irregularities within the department
By Terry Lewis
ALBANY — Albany State University Interim President Art Dunning confirmed late Wednesday afternoon that the university and the University System of Georgia had begun a probe into possible irregularities in ASU’s Financial Aid Office. Dunning said that “five or six” of the department’s staff were “sent home” this week as the investigation begins in earnest. Dunning would not name the employees nor would he specify what area of the department investigators are concentrating on. He added he is determined to root out “bad practices” in the department and said the length of the investigation depends on what information is uncovered.
Researcher recruitment pays off, Ga. schools say
By Walter C. Jones
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – Spending about $12 million to recruit eight world-class scientists and 60 of their colleagues is bringing Georgia universities more than $27 million in federal research grants, the Georgia Research Alliance announced. Half of the recruitment costs for lab space and equipment were borne by taxpayer appropriations from the General Assembly with the balance from donations. The mostly federal research grants cover nearly all expenses to pay and equip the 60 scientists who follow what the alliance called the “eminent scholars” they recruit. This year’s class is the largest the alliance has recruited in more than a decade. Six of them were wooed away from out-of-state universities, one from a private institute and one from a California company. Three are headed to the University of Georgia; Three head to the Georgia Institute of Technology; One at Georgia State University.
Although most of these scientists are working in areas related to medicine, none is heading to the state’s medical college at Georgia Regents University. Research Alliance officials say that’s a coincidence since two were recruited for GRU last year.
Howard Warner Project To Begin In 2016
…Also at the meeting, council:
• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the city of Newnan, which allows the Newnan Police Department (NPD) and University of West Georgia (UWG) to allow each other to help the other if needed. Newnan Police Chief Douglas “Buster” Meadows said it was a standard mutual agreement and both NPD and UWG have the right to accept or deny the requested help. The agreement is also pursuant to the Georgia Mutual Aid Act.
Kennesaw State police investigation two sex assaults, school starts awareness program
KENNESAW, Ga — Kennesaw State University (KSU) police are investigating two sexual assaults on women on campus that happened the first week of school. The sexual assaults both occurred on campus within days of the Monday, Aug. 17 start of school at Kennesaw State. …Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, all new students – both freshman and transfers – must participate in an online training course that helps educate them about sexual assault. “We had to do this program about rape and assault,” Tharpu said. “We have to do it in order to register for classes. It lets you know what you need to do… It’s something that they implemented because of what happened last year.” After getting them training, some of them have taken precautions.
College girls are entering “The Red Zone”
By: Camille Vicino
Students are back on college campuses, classes have started and parties are in full swing. This is a time where many wonderful memories are made and great friendships are formed, but it can also be an incredibly dangerous place for female students. Fifty-three percent of sexual assault cases reported to the Oklahoma State University Police were during the months of August and September. Campus’s all over the nation have seen uptick of sexual assaults at the start of the school year. In 2013, 85 percent of sexual assaults at the University of Georgia occurred before Thanksgiving break. The time from the start of school until Thanksgtiving break is often known as “The Red Zone”due to the increase in sexual assault reports. Studies have also found first-year students to be especially vulnerable during the first six weeks of school.
UGA student arrested after stabbing 19-year-old in Double Barrel
Julie Boyland
A University of Georgia student was arrested after stabbing another UGA student on Tuesday in a bar downtown. …The victim, a 19-year-old student at UGA, was taken to the Athens Regional Medical Center emergency room with possible stab wounds inflicted by Robert Williams, another 19-year-old student at the university.

Higher Education News:
‘Free’ vs. ‘Affordable’
By Michael Stratford
As Democrats on the presidential campaign trail pitch their college affordability plans to voters, they are largely united in their calls for a big boost in federal spending on higher education. Following a monthslong effort by liberal groups to push “debt-free college” — and after President Obama’s call for free community college earlier this year — leading Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both now have proposals that would expand the role of the federal government in higher education.
Coping With Cuts
By Kellie Woodhouse
Four-year public colleges and universities have increased their education-related spending even as overall funding has declined. The revenue declines are due to lowering state contributions. And while public universities have raised tuition rates to make up for large state funding losses, they have not fully offset the difference with tuition hikes.
IRS Hack Poses Challenges to Some Pell Grant Students
By Mary Ellen McIntire
A recent hacker attack against the Internal Revenue Service has created a hurdle for some Pell Grant recipients this summer. After hackers used the online Get Transcript system to access about 100,000 tax accounts in late May, the IRS shut down the system, which allowed students and parents who had been selected for income verification to access a PDF copy of their “tax transcripts” — their tax returns — within moments. Students are selected for verification randomly by the IRS, though colleges can choose to verify others. If selected, students must show proof that the tax information they submitted on their Fafsa forms is correct.
Georgia students’ ACT scores rise
Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
After enduring years of ridicule for scoring near the bottom on the SAT test, Georgia can finally take comfort from this: the state has inched its way up to the middle of the pack on that other big pre-college test, the ACT. New results show Georgia’s average composite score rising 0.2 points to 21.0, finally equalling the national composite score. ,,,Woods noted that Georgia outpaced most other Southern states and that minorities outperformed their peers nationally.
Study Outlines Benefits of Refinancing Student Loans
by Jamal Eric Watson
Recent college graduates should consider refinancing their student loans as one of the many options that might help them to save money in the long term. That’s the findings of a recent study released by NerdWallet, a personal finance website that caters to college students and recent graduates.