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March 19th, 2013
08:06 AM ET

Police: Fmr. UCF found dead in dorm room, planned a larger attack at school – Ed Lavandera reports

This morning, CNN has new developments in the apparent suicide of a former student at the University of Central Florida. Police were called to a UCF dorm early Monday morning by a student who said his roommate had pulled a gun on him. The suspect, 30-year-old James Oliver Seevakumaran, was dead by the time officers arrived.

Investigators say they found a detailed plan for an attack, homemade bombs, a handgun, an assault weapon and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Investigators now believe Seevakumaran was planning a massacre on campus. CNN’s Ed Lavandera has more on the investigation.

Police say they don’t know what made Seevakumaran turn his gun on himself, but “it could have been a very bad day for everybody” on campus. Police Chief Richard Beary told reporters, “All things considered, I think that we were very blessed here at the University of Central Florida."

Investigators say they discovered several weapons among "writings laying out a timeline of what Seevakarum planned to do," Lavandera reports. "A plan, investigators say, was designed to, quote, ‘give them hell.' We don't know who he planned to target, but investigators say he was acting as a ‘lone wolf.’”

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Filed under: College • Crime • Shooting • Suicide
January 18th, 2013
06:54 AM ET

CNN Trends: Te'oing is the new Tebowing

Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax has inspires a new meme: Photos of people posing with an arm around an invisible girlfriend explodes on the web.

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Filed under: College • Football • Meme • Sports • Trending
September 25th, 2012
10:31 AM ET

Christine Romans takes an in depth look at the issues of 2012: Paying for College

Christine Romans delves into the issue of college tuition and student debt this morning, an issue at the forefront of the election for young Americans. She speaks with Jackie Giovaniello, who graduated from Brown University this year and decided not to head straight to medical school. Jackie instead took a research job at Sloan-Kettering Hospital to help pay off her student loans, which adds up to $100,000. "It's nice to have a paying job, full-time, where I can pay back part of my student loans before going to med school and possibly adding on a lot more," Jackie says.

Jackie is burdened with this enormous debt because she didn’t qualify for many grants. Her middle class family is considered too wealthy under the current standards, yet not wealthy enough to afford the tuition of over $50,000 per year for Brown. "When you're in the middle class, you are a normal suburban family. But you just don't make an outrageous amount of money so you can't pay for these outrageous prices for tuition, you know," says Giovaniello. She’s one of many young people with the same predicament; the reason student loan debt hit $1 trillion last year and became a key issue in the election.

Romans explains President Obama’s present actions and second term proposals to alleviate the burden as well as Mitt Romney’s plans to help students. While the candidates have widely differing solutions, the students see one problem. They feel left out in the cold.

"A lot of people who don't have students in college or don't have kids my age just think that, oh, you're either wealthy enough to go to college or you get financial aid from the government. It's that simple,” Giovaniello says. “But it's not that simple.”

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Filed under: 2012 election • College • Education
July 23rd, 2012
01:05 PM ET

NCAA to hammer Penn State with sanctions – Susan Candiotti explains

As the Paterno statue is removed from outside Beaver Stadium, new disciplinary actions threaten the football community of Penn State. A source close to the case tells CNN the NCAA is set to punish the university with sanctions based on the findings of the Freeh report. The "significant, unprecedented penalties" will include fines of more than $30 million dollars and the loss of a number of scholarships.

While not divulging specifics, the source said, "The penalties go well beyond the loss of a scholarship or not being able to go to a bowl game." Susan Candiotti reports.

Filed under: College • Crime • Jerry Sandusky • Penn State scandal
May 16th, 2012
06:50 AM ET

Are 40% of college students alcoholics? CNN's Alina Cho on how a definition change could change the way we view addiction

We could see the number of college students considered alcoholics hit 40%, but not because more kids are drinking heavily. Psychiatrists and specialists are literally redefining the term alcoholic.

In new guidelines due to be released in a year, you could be considered an alcoholic. And you're not alone.

In fact, 20 million "more" Americans could be diagnosed as having some sort of addiction. That amounts to about 60% of the country and addictions could include drugs, alcohol, shopping or gambling.

The new guidelines are included in a revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also known as the DSM. That's the nation's arbiter of mental illness - the so-called psychiatric "bible."

Currently, there are two ways of categorizing drug and alcohol problems. One is as "substance abuse," referring to a short-term problem that includes binge drinking in college. The other is "substance dependence," meaning a long-term problem like alcoholism.

Under the new guidelines, there is only one diagnosis for addiction but with varying degrees – mild, moderate or severe.

A big reason why more will diagnosed is that doctors are "adding" to the list of symptoms of addiction while at the same time "reducing" the number of symptoms needed for a diagnosis. This could mean millions more people could be labeled addicts, even without picking up another drink.

Why is this so important? It's the standard the government embraces, and it also dictates whether health insurers, like Medicare and Medicaid, will pay for treatment.

Learn more from Alina Cho's report in the video above.

Filed under: Alcoholism • College • DSM