{News Briefs}

Interest rates to rise

Federal education loan interest rates are predicted to increase by 1.93 percent on July 1. Ted Malone, director of financial aid at UAA, said 4,253 students from the 2004-2005 school year took out loans to cover their school costs, most of them taking out loans of about $5,400. Consolidating loans sets the loan’s interest rate, so students pay the original interest rate until the loan is paid off. Malone said students who consolidate their loans may sacrifice benefits from each individual lender, like loan forgiveness, but the fixed interest rate may outweigh the trade-offs. If students were in good standing with their lender when they consolidated, Malone said they could still be eligible for loan forgiveness or interest rate deductions. Students can consolidate their loans with an existing lender, but in order to lock into the low interest rates, an application to consolidate should be completed by June 30. Information about loan consolidation can be found on the financial aid Web site at www.uaa.alaska.edu/financialaid/index.cfm.


Preview days expand

Enrollment Services is planning to expand its Preview Days program to include a spring semester event in mid-February. Recent feedback from attendees of the fall Preview Days asked about a spring event, and Enrollment Services has responded with a second day. Preview Days are intended to give incoming first-year students information about classes, organizations, degrees, programs and services at UAA. Students and parents are led through mock class sessions, parent and student panels and open-house tours of AHAINA, the Career Services Center, Learning Resource Center, USUAA office, Student Health Center, Information Desk, Library, Native Student Services and Disability Stupport Services. UAA Enrollment Services Preview Days for the 2005-2006 school year are scheduled November 11, 2005 and February 17, 2006.


BOR meeting postponed

The Board of Regents June 8-9 meeting was postponed to June 21-22. BOR Student Regent Jake Gondek said there was a limited number of regents who could have attended the June 8-9 meeting, and the later date allows for more regents to be present. The BOR does not operate with strict deadlines on its legislation, so the postponement will have little impact on university business, Gondek said. The June 21-22 meeting will cover the joint Ph.D. in Psychology program between UAA and UAF. Another 10-percent tuition increase will also be discussed. More information about the BOR, its agendas, members and minutes can be found on the BOR Web site at http://www.alaska.edu/bor/.


Coalition elects speaker

The Coalition of Student Leaders, a representative body of student governments at the various University of Alaska campuses, recently elected a new speaker. Digital Arts major Todd Marshall-Closson represented the Kenai River College Student Union in the Coalition for the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 school years. Closson is a non-traditional, married student with two teenage sons. Closson, whose campus operates under the UAA Major Administrative Unit, will replace UAF student Thom Walker who served as coalition speaker and president of the Associated Students of UAF.