Quick Takes: Lender Pledges More Disclosure on Payments to Colleges, Texas Southern Governance Faulted, Jewish Seminary Will Ordain Gays, Inside Look at UCLA Admissions, Extra Fees for 'Energy Hogs,' Oxford Adds Aptitude Tests, the Other Final Four

March 27, 2007
  • Education Finance Partners, which offers private student loans and is facing a planned lawsuit from New York State Attorney General Andew Cuomo, on Monday announced changes in its program for reimbursing colleges for a small share of the loan volume the company receives. Cuomo has charged that these payments -- which he calls "kickbacks" -- violate students' rights, something the company and the colleges involved have denied. But the company announced that it would require all such payments to be more fully reported, and that all funds from the payments be used to help students. A spokesman for Cuomo told Reuters that the changes did not go far enough and that the litigation would proceed.
  • A special state panel has blasted the governing board of Texas Southern University, and called for much more state oversight of the historically black, financially troubled institution, The Houston Chronicle reported. The report did not call for a formal state takeover, but recommended a system of continuous audits, with regular reports to the governor and Legislature.
  • The Jewish Theological Seminary announced Monday that it would admit gay and lesbian students into its rabbinical and cantorial schools. The seminary -- the flagship for training leaders of Judaism's Conservative movement -- acted three months after the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the movement's Rabbical Assembly issued a ruling that permitted the ordination of gay and lesbian people.
  • The University of California at Los Angeles let a reporter for the Los Angeles Times sit in on training programs for the institutions new "holistic" admissions system, and the resulting article provides an inside look at the revised process.
  • The University of Illinois at Springfield is ending a flat fee approach to charging for utilities in campus-owned apartments. The Springfield State Journal-Register reported that surcharges will be required of those who generate more than 10 percent above the average in energy use.
  • The University of Oxford, which like most top British universities has relied on tests of subject matter for admission, is now starting to require aptitude tests in some fields, The Guardian reported.
  • The University of Texas at Dallas won first place in the final four of college chess, keeping its 60-game winning streak alive and defeating archrival University of Maryland-Baltimore County. The other teams to make the final four were Miami Dade College and Duke University. UT Dallas officials said that the coach, Rade Milovanovic, closed his practices in the week prior to the final matches, and added alternates to his roster, to keep opposing teams unsure of who would be playing.
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