State financial aid increasing; deadlines approach

Capital News Service
LANSING — As college financial aid deadlines loom, Michigan officials are working to get the word out about increased help available from the state and universities this year. “We work throughout the year to promote aid and financial aid, but this is definitely a busy time of the year,” said Shannon Price, coordinator of outreach services at Michigan’s Student Financial Services Bureau, part of the Michigan Department of Treasury. This year, Michigan has $105 million in state-appropriated scholarships and grants for students. All are need-based, and some require other qualifications such as test scores. Last year, more than 73,000 students received state scholarships and grants, according to Price.

Out-of-state students boost university budgets

Capital News Service
LANSING –When the state cuts funding to public higher education, universities generally react by raising tuition. But a second option is to increase the number of out-of-state and international students who pay more to attend. For example, Michigan State University charges about $12,000 for undergraduate state residents, But out-of-state and international students pay $32,000 – $33,000 each year. Michigan ranks 9th in the nation in the number of international students enrolled in the state’s 15 public universities, but only 45th in out-of-state enrollment. According to Business Leaders for Michigan, based in Detroit, 9.4 percent of students in state universities come from other states.

State police, universities work to increase safety

Capital News Service
LANSING – The State Police is working with several universities on research and training programs such as criminal identification technology, traffic safety and homicide investigation. For example, through one project, State Police would be able to match a suspect’s name, hometown and criminal history from its database to a sketch provided by a witness or even the position of a suspect’s tattoo. Anil Jain, a professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, said the recognition system is able to match fingerprints, images and videos from a low-quality camera, DNA and tattoos. “This has not been done before,” he said. “We would not able to design it without cooperating with the State Police.”
Jain said the State Police advises his team and provides records of physical characteristics for the database.