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September 17, 2008 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-09-17

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - 7A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, September17, 2008 - 7A

* From Page 1A
resources, finding thatbiomass and
wind are the two most abundant
sources of energy. It outlined how
the URC is helping to develop the
state's alternative energy sources,
including organic solar cells at the
University of Michigan, research
on a new process to break down
cellulose for biomass fuel at Mich-
igan State University's Biomass
Conversion Research Labora-
tory and Wayne State University's
research on catalyst development
to support biodiesel production.
Cynthia Wilbanks, the Univer-
sity's vice president for govern-
ment relations, said the URC aims
to continue bringing money to the
state ans taking part in alternative
energy research.
"Looking ahead to next year,
there's a lot of attention in the
From Page 1A
Last March, while addressing
SAUCA on the matter, Vice Provost
Philip Hanlon defended the Univer-
sity's commitment to academics.
"There is no higher priority than
the academic success of our stu-
dents," Hanlon said at the time.
Independent. study courses
taught by Psychology professor
John Hagen were cited as example
of classes athletes pass with mar-
ginal effort. University officials and
Hagen denied all claims of prefer-
ential treatment for athletes or sub-
standard academic standards. '
While the formation of the com-
mittee seems to respond to that
report, Classical Studies professor
David Potter, the chair of SACUA,
said that isn't the case.
"It wasn't formed in response
to the Ann Arbor News," Potter
. said, "It was formed by the Senate
Assembly in response to a wide-
ranging number of questions that
has come up over time. If you look
back at the process of the formation
of the committee, you'll see that it
really had to do with things that
were internal to SACUA and inter-
nal to the Senate Assembly."
Potter said he didn't have details
on how the committee would con-
duct its investigation, and stressed
the importance of their autonomy.
"It's important for the committee

need to invest in R&D and alterna-
tive energy," she said. "No matter
who is elected president, this will
be a very high priority."
Wilbanks said that in the future,
the URC will look for increased
federal funding.
"We have the . infrastructure,
we certainly have shown that," she
The six main benchmarks the
report highlights are student
enrollment, overall economic
impact, overall state fiscal impact,
'Research and Development expen-
ditures, overall expenditures and
how the URC compares with peer
The URC will formally pres-
ent the report at a day-long event
at Eastern Michigan University
Convocation Center this after-
noon. New York Times columnist
Thomas Friedman will give the
keynote address at the -environ-
ment-themed event.
to be doing everything it's doing on
its own without feelingthat anyone
was looking over its shoulder."
Business School senior Stepha-
nie Hoyer, vice president of the
Student-Athlete Advisory Council,
said she wasn'tsurprised by the cre-
ation of the committee. She said the
group could bring positive changes
though its investigation.
"The University's efforts, I do
believe, whether it be from the
Athletic Department or from the
University of Michigan outside the
athletics, is goingto be to better the
University and students," Hoyer
said. "I do believe that what they
find will be in tune with one anoth-
er and trying to better Michigan,
the student-athletes and the overall
In addition to concerns over easy
course work and strongly guided
counseling, the committee will
likely address issues over priority
treatment in admissions and enroll-
According to the Ann Arbor
News, physics Prof. Keith Riles
and law professor Richard Fried-
man began the same examination
earlier this year. Their efforts were
postponed after a couple weeks of
review, though Riles says he hopes
the revived investigation is success-
"I give my best to the committee
in its investigation," he said, "and
look forward to reading its report at
the end of the year."

From Page lA
terms of the agreement or when
it occurred.
She also wouldn't say whether
the University was satisfied with
the terms of the agreement or
whether details would soon be
made public.
She said all aspects of the law-
suit had been resolved.
Marlin Air owner Stuart Ding-
man declined to comment.
Dingman's attorney, Scott
Erskine, said that while he
couldn't discuss the settlement,
he could "confirm that a resolu-
tion was reached."
The University released a
statement dated Jan. 14, 2008,
about a month after the lawsuit
was filed, saying the contract had
been terminated to "provide the
best care possible to our patients
and their families."
The University's statement
also said: "Marlin Air did not
have the ability to provide the
services required by our institu-
At the time of the lawsuit's fil-
ing, Erskine told the Associated
Press, "This lawsuit truly pits
David v. Goliath."
Erskine said at the time that
the University did not properly
terminate the contract, as ini-
tialinvestigations by the Federal
Aviation Administration and the
National Transportation Safety
Board had revealed no wrongdo-
ing by Marlin Air.
Those investigations are still
- The Associated Press
contributed to this report.
From Page 1A
applied thus far.
LSA junior Amanda Pudenz
said she the committee could
improve the situation. -
"Parking on Central Campus,
especially at night, can be awful
and a nightmare," she said.
Pudenz said she's disappoint-
ed with the high price of on-
campus parking passes.
"Parking passes are way too
expensive," she said. "I refuse
to pay these prices - I think
the committee is a fantastic

From Page lA
University and the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign all
have lower Cohort Default rates
than the University for 2006. The
University's graduation rate - one
factor loan companies use when
deciding who to lend to - is also
well above average.
Nationwide, private lending has
increased more than more than
tenfold in the last decade to $17.1
billion annually, The Wall Street
Journal reported.
According to the Journal, about
one in ten students now seek pri-
vate loans, though this trend is
expected to reverse in the near
Pam Fowler, the executive
director of the office of Financial
Aid, would.not compare the cur-
rent student lending market to
previous years, but said having to
borrow money for school is gener-
ally difficult for students.
"As a student who has to bor-
row, you're between a rock and a
hard place," said Pam Fowler, the
executive director of the Univer-
sity of Michigan's Office of Finan-
cial Aid. "You either take the loan,
if you can getthe loan, or you don't
go to school. Or you go someplace
you didn't want to go"
The private lending squeeze
leads to higher interest rates, more
selective qualification criteria, and
stricter repayment terms. It also
increases the burden on federal aid
- Free Application for Federal Stu-
dent Aid (FAFSA) submissions are
up 17percent this year, according to
the U.S. Department of Education.
Fowler said students should
pursue federal loans rather than

private loans. though many pursue
private loans when they discover
they aren't eligible for financial
aid. She added that everyone can
get a federal loan, which has better
repayment terms and maybe can-
cellation provisions private loans
don't have.
"Some students know they're
not eligible for financial aid, so
they go get a private loan," Fowler
said. "If they make that assump-
tion that because they don't qualify
for a Pell Grant, 'I've gotta go get a
private loan,' that's what we're try-
ing to stop."
Here at the University, students
borrowed about $256 million in
both private and federal for the
2007-2008 academic year, accord-
ing to data provided by the office
of Financial Aid.
According to the data, 9,586
undergraduates borrowed federal
money through these programs
last year, with loans totaling $71.8
million. For graduate students,
5,511 borrowed $132 million.
For the same time period, 1,809
undergraduates and1,009graduate
students borrowed $23.6 million
and $28.6 million, respectively, in
private loans.
There are two federal Direct
Loan programs available at the
University. Undergraduate stu-
dents may borrow through the
Federal Direct Stafford Loan Pro-
gram, and theirparents canborrow
on their behalf through the Fed-
eral Direct PLUS Loan Program.
Graduate students have the same
two options, although the Federal
Graduate PLUS Loan Program has
slightly differentterms.
The University participates in
the Federal Direct Loan Program,
whichthe federal governmentsup-
ports directly. The Federal Family

Education Loan program, which
was used at many other Michigan
colleges anduniversities before the
state suspended it in the spring, is
the same program with the only
difference being the source of cap-
ital: FFELP borrowers are subject
to private liquidity issues.
The "Ensuring Continued
Access to Student Loans Act,"
passed by Congress in Mayto cut
interest rates on federal loans and
make education more affordable,
was intended to make good on
a 2006 pledge by House Demo-
But for University of Michigan
students, this is all inconsequen-
tial since the act only applies to
loans provided through FFELP.
Fowler said that the single big-
gest mistake families make when it
comes to financing an education is
poor planning.
"Planning for college, in my
mind, cannot start in the junior or
senior year," she said. "I'm talk-
ing about early awareness, early
planning. I'm talking about sixth
grade. You can't conceivably come
up with that kind of money or a
plan to do that 9 months before the
kid hits the door."
The Office of Financial Aid
has outreach programs designed
to inform students and parents
about college and its costs from
early on:
Too many students don't take
the process seriously enough or
pay close attention to the terms of
their loans - even those who have
gone through with this process
before, Fowler said.
"They won't read it, they won't
deal with it until it comes time to
repay," she said. "That's when it
becomes important to them and,
unfortunately, it's a little too late."

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