Students at Vassar College raised over $60,000 in response to a possible anti-gay protest by Westboro Baptist Church, The Huffington Post reported. Only hours after the notorious church announced the protest on its website, Vassar students created a Crowdrise.com account to raise money for the Trevor Project, a suicide and crisis prevention organization that serves LGBT youth. Students have used social media to encourage others to participate in the protest. The Vassar LGBT community said that it hopes to collaborate with other students and staff in order to respond adequately to the church's message. It is not clear, however, whether the church will actually conduct a protest on the college campus.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators suggested a number of changes to the financial aid system in a white paper released Wednesday, including limiting students' loan eligibility, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. The suggestion aims to mitigate the problem of universities losing access to all federal student aid when not enough students repay their loans. The association suggested restricting borrowing through a student-loan eligibility index, which would employ grades and test scores to determine students' loan eligibility upon enrollment. Even if students initially would not qualify for loans, they would still be eligible for Pell Grants and institutional aid and could regain loan eligibility if they improved their grades. A loan-eligibility index would not only benefit taxpayers but also prevent underprivileged students from having to repay loans after dropping out. The policy proposal was offered in response to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's project, Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery.
Over 1,800 Babson College students and alumni have contributed to a social media campaign encouraging the college's search committee to select Dennis Hanno, dean of the graduate school and vice provost, as Babson's next president, Inside Higher Ed reported. During his tenure as associate dean for undergraduate matters, Hanno was popular among students because he instituted positive changes and fostered a sense of community at the undergraduate level. Hanno said that although he is honored by the support from alumni and students, he does not consider himself uniquely qualified for the job and that the search committee will seek "the most highly qualified candidate and not the most popular one." The student-organized campaign demonstrates the increased transparency that social media has brought to administrative decision-making, The Chronicle reported.