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Today's word on journalism

May 12, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

USU 'alumni legacy' non-resident students to get big tuition break

By Paige Burtenshaw

May 5, 2009 | Utah State University will be offering Alumni Legacy Nonresident Scholarships starting in fall 2008 that will cut $8,000 off some students' tuition per year.

To qualify for the scholarship, an admitted student must have a parent who attended USU and received an associate degree or higher from the school.

The scholarship came into effect after the Utah Legislature unanimously passed House Bill 364 that allowed non-resident students of USU alumni to attend the same school as their parents for resident tuition. This saves the student about $4,000 per semester.

This scholarship allows students to pay resident tuition during the entire time they attend Utah State without having to complete residency requirements. So instead of living in Utah for 12 months, getting a Utah driver's license, and not being claimed as a dependent by parents, a student can provide their parent's graduation information and receive residency about two weeks after they fill out the application.

A current non-resident legacy student, Andra Holdaway said, "This way, I don't have to go through the hassle of getting residency. I can get resident tuition and still leave Utah for the summer."

Michael Kennedy, Special Assistant to the USU President, said that this scholarship will help USU "compete for students who never would have considered coming here." He says it helps USU become more competitive with schools like BYU who subsidize tuition.

Kennedy says some people will look at this scholarship and think that it will end up losing the school money. He says USU may "make less money up front, but will end up getting more students."

By offering resident tuition to legacy students, more students will enroll at Utah State which will increase revenue in areas like tuition, fees and on-campus housing. Primarily non-residents stay in on-campus housing, so by increasing the number of non-resident students, Kennedy says it will help us to fill up the spaces in our resident halls and bring more revenue to USU.

Kennedy says this scholarship is a good way to "reconnect with Utah State Alumni." If we can cut $8,000 off of their children's tuition costs, it will be more likely that they will donate to our school and give more support once they have a student attending.

Although Utah State is participating in HB 364, not all Utah schools are. This bill is optional for Utah schools and it is up to the President of the university to decide whether or not to take part.


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