Quick Takes: House GOP Proposes Aid for Hurricane Victims, U. of New Orleans Starts Online Semester, Promoting Higher Ed for Students With Developmental Disabilities, Revamped GRE, Ig Nobels for Work on Slowly Dripping Tar and Replacement Dog Testicles

October 7, 2005
  • Republican leaders of the House of Representatives education committee introduced legislation Thursday that would eliminate a requirement that colleges and students affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita to repay financial aid funds they received before the storms hit. The measure would also require colleges to adjust their calculations of what students and their families must contribute toward their college expenses for student aid recipients whose financial circumstances have been significantly changed by the hurricanes, and calls on colleges to make it easier for displaced students to transfer their credits from one institution to another, incorporating controversial language from the House version of legislation to extend the Higher Education Act.
  • The fall semester for the University of New Orleans, whose campus was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, will start Monday. More than 7,000 students have signed up for online courses or programs being offered at satellite campuses.
  • The National Down Syndrome Society has awarded a grant to two New Jersey institutions -- Mercer County Community College and the College of New Jersey -- to develop college programs for students with developmental disabilities. The society hopes that the programs can become national models. A growing number of colleges have been creating programs for such students in recent years and Bellevue Community College created what is believed to be the first degree program for students with developmental disabilities.
  • The Educational Testing Service is this month testing out a new approach to the Graduate Record Examinations. The revised GRE will feature different kinds of questions in most sections.
  • The Ig Nobel Prizes, an annual spoof of the Nobels, were awarded Thursday night. Among the 2005 winners: Australian scholars who have been watching -- since 1927 -- a glob of black tar slowly dripping through a funnel (physics), a project to create replacement testicles for dogs (medicine), and a scholarly duo who have analyzed the question of whether people swim faster in syrup or in water (chemistry). The complete list of award "winners" is online.
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