January 13, 2015
THERE'S LITTLE not to like in President Obama's idea to provide free tuition for community-college students, which he announced last week. The idea, which would require Congressional approval, would provide a free two-year tuition ride for students meeting certain criteria, including keeping a 2.5 grade-point average. Obama touted it as a plan that would help students finance the first half of a bachelor's degree. He intends to address the proposal further in his State of the Union address next week.
December 10, 2014 |
Caitlyn Ricci and her parents sat on opposite sides of the Camden courtroom, emblematic of a deep family divide. On the right was Ricci, 21, wearing a solid green shirt and black dress pants, with her attorney. On the left side, seated together, were her divorced parents: middle school English teacher Maura McGarvey and varsity high school basketball coach Michael Ricci, joined by each of their attorneys. Superior Court Judge Thomas Shusted Jr. implored both sides - who have fought more than a year over who should pay Caitlyn Ricci's college tuition - to stop bickering.
November 14, 2014 |
Before Caitlyn Ricci sued her parents for college tuition money, before they stopped talking, before her father accused his parents - Caitlyn's grandparents - of "tearing my family apart," the Ricci family was just trying to hold things together. Caitlyn Ricci's parents divorced in 1997, four years after her birth. Her mother has said she worked to create a caring environment - taking her to aquariums and art museums - when Caitlyn wasn't with her father. But as Caitlyn pushed age 18 and beyond, her parents said, their relationship with her grew fragile.
November 6, 2014 |
On the day that Olivia Robb's mother, Ellen Gregory Robb, was beaten to death in the family's Upper Merion home, police led the 12-year-old girl to where her father, Rafael, sat in a nearby ambulance. "He told me not to worry, that everything would be fine," Olivia Robb testified Tuesday, speaking to jurors in the Montgomery County Court wrongful-death suit against her father. "No matter what I was told. " Instead, she lost both her parents. Within weeks, her father was behind bars for the killing.
October 30, 2014 |
Two months before Rep. Chaka Fattah's bid for an 11th term in Congress, a longtime aide and friend admitted conspiring to misuse federal, charitable, and campaign funds to repay loans for Fattah's losing mayoral campaign and his son's college tuition. Accused in the plea of initiating the schemes, Fattah took days to defend himself and longer to produce more than a terse, generic denial. Even now, rather than address the details of the allegations, the Philadelphia Democrat prefers to draw attention to his achievements in Congress, the excesses of federal authorities, and the presumption of innocence.
October 14, 2014 |
Hirtle Callaghan & Co., a West Conshohocken investment shop with a long view of the markets, thinks there are way too few cheap asset classes out there. Jonathan Hirtle cofounded the firm in 1988 with Don Callaghan, now retired, and the company oversees $25 billion in assets with just over 100 employees. Currently, bonds everywhere are "quite risky," Hirtle said in an interview, particularly because central banks around the world have followed the Federal Reserve and aggressively cut interest rates.
September 28, 2014 |
Is your college student living at home this year? You can charge your kid rent, and be paid out of the 529 college-savings plan you set up years ago. Most important: The student must be enrolled at least half-time in school. According to accounting and tax experts, withdrawals from a 529 education fund can be used to cover housing expenses even if students continue living with their parents while attending college. Some experts, such as Rosalind Sutch of Drucker & Scaccetti Certified Public Accountants/Business Advisors in Center City, say it's crucial to be careful about how you account for those expenses out of a 529 plan.
June 24, 2014 |
When Delina Adams found out she'd been named an Affinity Scholar, she started screaming. Her mother ran down the stairs of their Northeast Philadelphia home. "She thought I was dying," Delina said. A few days after the phone call from her college adviser, Delina held an official letter from Mastery Charter Schools, dated April 2, confirming she was one of its 35 Affinity Scholars. The letter suggested to the family a great cloud had been lifted. "You will receive over $150,000 in financial aid (inclusive of scholarships and grants)
June 12, 2014 |
Pennsylvania's financially strapped state system of higher education will face a new test: A comprehensive review by the state's auditor general. In recent years, the 14-university Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) has seen declining enrollment and stagnant state funding, as well as a bid by one its members, West Chester, to consider withdrawing from the system. "College tuition and other costs are rising and we need to look at every possible option to keep from making college unaffordable to middle class families," Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said in a statement.
June 9, 2014 |
Congratulations to high school graduates in May and June are being followed by family complaints about college tuition in August and September. No wonder state university bills are up: Pennsylvania and New Jersey are giving $2,200 less per student to their colleges than in 2008, according to inflation-adjusted data collected by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities from state records. And no wonder some of Pennsylvania State University's alumni trustees are grousing that, with less than $300 million of its $4.4 billion budget now appropriated from the state, Harrisburg shouldn't have so much to say about Happy Valley's agenda.