Recurring financial nightmare imperils a college dream

State College, Pa.- Just before 4 p.m. on a frigid Friday in mid-December, Quanisha Smith boards a Blue Loop bus on Penn State’s University Park campus. She’s heading to a place she’s visited more times than she cares to count: the bursar’s office. She’s hoping to resolve the hold on her account, which shows an […]

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15 years later and $15K in debt, poorly guided student still off track

South Bend, Ind. — Every month, $64 is withdrawn from Tony Havens’ checking account to pay off his student loans. For him, it’s both a financial hit and a grim reminder that he spent five years in college and left with approximately $15,000 in debt … but no degree. What makes it even more painful […]

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Immigrant’s promise not yet realized, but she’s still climbing

San Rafael, Calif. — To reach the apartment Damaris Ortiz shares with her boyfriend and their young son, you drive partway up a mountainous road, then trudge up four flights of stairs. The steep ascent could well be a metaphor for the climb Ortiz has faced daily since moving to California from Chiapas, Mexico, in […]

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

“College changes lives.” We’ve all heard those words; and if you’re at all like me, you’ve probably lived them. For most of us — without a doubt for me personally — the college experience was transformative. Higher education changed my life fundamentally, and very much for the better. Sadly, for far too many of today’s […]

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Marc D. Allan

The three stories in this issue of Focus were reported and written by Indianapolis-based writer and editor Marc D. Allan. Allan, a longtime newspaper journalist, is the News Manager at Butler University, where he also has served as an adjunct professor of journalism.

Writing | Marc D. Allan
Editing
| David S. Powell
Editorial assistance | Ruth Holladay
Photography | Shawn Spence
Design | IronGate Creative

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