National

Student loans reduction

College students’ mountain of student debt just got a little smaller. Last month, President Barack Obama announced a plan to make paying off federal student loans cheaper and easier, cutting monthly interest rates by a third and forgiving all leftover debt after 20 years, five years sooner than the previous law. Speaking at the University of Colorado in Denver, Obama said the new policy aims to address the large amount of student debt in the US – more than $1 trillion, reported the Huffington Post – in the face of rising tuition rates. “We’re going to put [the plan] into effect next year, because our economy needs it right now, and you could use a boost right now,” Obama said to students. Congress enacted an income-based repayment plan in 2010 that capped monthly payments for federal student loans at 15 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income, to take effect in 2014.


Student forms group to help soldiers

When University of Alabama junior Chelsea Pickett watched her younger brother graduate from boot camp at Parris Island earlier this fall, she was moved as she reflected on the generations of military service represented in her family. A daughter of a sergeant major, a granddaughter of a Vietnam veteran and a cousin to several servicemen in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pickett wanted to do her part to support U.S.


App highlights drink specials

Students at the University can now review the best alcohol prices, updated every hour, before or during their weekend bar-hopping.  The free smartphone application, Red Cup, shows the drink specials for Tuscaloosa’s most popular bars each day. The application calculates the best deals each day and lists them in order of value.  The top five are listed, but users also have the option of choosing a bar from the full list to view its deals. When the application is first opened, the user is prompted to “pick your poison,” between shots or beer.  After making a choice, the app goes to the top five bars with the best deals of the hour. Red Cup launched on Nov.


Fans keep Tide pride alive overseas

An 11-hour time difference and 5,224 miles has not stopped Marcel Gromotka from being a die-hard University of Alabama football fan. Gromotka grew up in Munich, Germany and moved to the United States in 2006 when his dad was offered a job with Mercedes in Tuscaloosa.


UA boasts two Rhodes finalists

Two University of Alabama students have been named finalists for the Rhodes scholarship, an international award for study at the University of Oxford. Senior Nathan Corder and spring 2011 graduate Parker White are one round away from receiving two years of paid tuition for study in Oxford and the distinction of being a Rhodes Scholar. Corder, a mathematics major and member of the Computer Based Honors program from Pickerington, Ohio, wants to use his research in data-mining and not-for-profit fundraising to help solve the world’s hunger problem. “Hunger is something I’m passionate about,” Corder said.  “It’s the universal unifying tragedy.