Up-to-date college news from this week:
College Student Pleads Guilty to POTUS Threats
A 20-year-old student at Miami-Dade College pleaded guilty this week to posting threating messages about President Obama to Facebook. Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr. might end up getting 5 years in prison for the threats. According to the AP:
“In the first post on Feb. 21, Serrapio said: “Who wants to help me assassinate Obummer while hes at UM this week?”
Then on Feb. 23, the day of Obama’s visit, the Secret Service said Serappio posted a second threat.
“If anyones going to UM to see Obama today, get ur phones out and record. Cause at any moment im gonna put a bullet through his head and u don’t wanna miss that! Youtube!” the message said.
Someone who saw the posts contacted the Coral Gables Police Department and the Secret Service dispatched two agents to Serrapio’s home, where Serrapio and his mother agreed to allow a search. There they found an iPad with one of the Facebook postings on it and a cell phone with a text message from one of Serrapio’s friends who had seen the messages.
“LOL you can get in trouble for sayin’ that,” the text said.
Serrapio replied that he was “challenging” the Secret Service and also issued threats against any agents who came looking for him.
“I wanna kill at least two of them when they get here,” Serrapio said in that text.
Investigators said the only weapons Serrapio possessed were two pellet guns. He was originally charged with threatening the agents as well, but prosecutor Seth Schlessinger said that charge will be dropped.
Serrapio said during the hearing he had just completed his second year of college. He declined through Ross to comment outside court.
Senator Franken Introduces Standard College-Aid Letters Bill
Senator (and former SNL star) Al Franken (D-MN) and eight co-sponsors are introducing a bill to simplify the financial aid process. Under this bill, Colleges would have to send all students their financial aid information in a standard letter so that families would be able to evaluate their options in a simple and understandable way. According to Bloomberg:
“Colleges send letters to students they’ve accepted outlining costs, scholarships as well as loan information. The letters are often confusing and fail to differentiate clearly between awards and the money a student might need to borrow to cover tuition and other expenses. There is no federal requirement to disclose interest rates or total loan payments as there are for other types of loans such as mortgages.
The bill would establish information that must be included such as the cost of attendance, the net amount a student is responsible for paying after subtracting grant aid, expected federal loan monthly repayment amounts and disclosures related to private loans, according to the statement.”
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