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Tip Sheet for the week of Nov. 15, 2010

RELEASED: Nov. 15, 2010

Story Idea
During a time of rising tuition and fees at U.S. universities, UW-Eau Claire is more affordable than the national average and is more accessible to students of all economic backgrounds, according to reports from the College Board and U.S. News & World Report magazine. For 2010-11, in-state UW-Eau Claire students pay a total of $13,134 per year in tuition, fees, room and board — about $3,000 less than the national average of $16,140 reported in the College Board's "Trends in Higher Education." The College Board reported that the 2010-11 average annual tuition and fees for in-state students at public four-year institutions is $7,605. UW-Eau Claire's 2010-11 in-state tuition and fees for two semesters total $7,364 — $241 less than the national average. The College Board also reported a national average of $8,535 for annual room-and-board costs at public four-year institutions. UW-Eau Claire's 2010-11 room-and-board costs total $5,770 — $2,765 less than the national average. According to U.S. News & World Report rankings, UW-Eau Claire's percentage of undergraduates receiving federal Pell grants is the third highest among the magazine's top-ranked Midwest public regional universities and the 10th highest among all U.S. News top Midwestern regional universities. Pell grants promote access to postsecondary education by providing need-based awards to low-income students. The proportion of a university's undergraduates receiving Pell grants, which are most often given to undergraduates with family incomes under $20,000, is one indicator of economic diversity among an institution's students. For the 2008-09 academic year, nearly one in five (19 percent) of UW-Eau Claire undergraduates received Pell grants. During 2009-10, 2,513 — or 24 percent — of UW-Eau Claire's undergraduates received Pell grants.

Story Idea
A record number of new freshmen are enrolled in the Honors Program this fall, a sign that efforts to revamp the nearly 30-year-old program are paying off. The program attracted 137 new freshmen, bringing the total number of honors students to 502, said Dr. Jefford Vahlbusch, director of the University Honors Program. He expects that number to increase by about 20 when transfer students arrive for the 2011 spring semester. Program leaders are changing the admissions procedures, and increasing the number and variety of opportunities offered to honors students. In the past, only academic achievement in high school and ACT scores were used to determine who was invited into the program. A summer pilot program featuring a holistic honors admissions procedure helped identify more than 50 admitted freshmen with the qualities that faculty expect in honors students. The students, who would have been missed in the past, were invited into the program along with those selected using the traditional admission criteria. For details, contact Dr. Jefford Vahlbusch at 715-836-3621 or vahlbujb@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
The LGBTQ Advisory Board will host a Unity Forum from 4-5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, in the Tamarack Room of Davies Center. The forum will be an opportunity for listening, speaking, healing and reconciliation in light of recent national and campus events related to the LGBTQ community. For details, contact Dr. Beth Hellwig, LGBTQ Advisory Board chair, at 715-836-5992 or hellwiba@uwec.edu.

Story Idea
UW-Eau Claire theater students are helping actors from North High School prepare for the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association theater competition. Students from North are in the second round of competition and could advance to the state level. The collaboration coincided with last month's performance of "Anatomy of Gray" at UW-Eau Claire, under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Chapman, assistant professor of theatre arts. North High School teacher Lucas Risinger's students are performing the same work for the WHSFA. A public performance of "Anatomy of Gray" by North students will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, at North High School.

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