Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "college" ...

  • Where's the party at?

    The Daily Wildcat set out to answer the age old question: where's the party at? Through FOIAs for police records The Daily Wildcat was able to collect data on where the Tucson Police Department had issued red tags, which are the citations for unruly gatherings that are commonly doled out when parties get out of hand. They created a heat map of the red tags issued around campus and created interactive data visualizations on the frequency of when red tags were issued by day of the week and calendar month.
  • Gone Too Soon: Revisiting the 1983 Murder of Joan Ann Charlton – A Comprehensive Collection of Information, 33 Years Later

    In September 1983, a 19-year-old Jamaican-American freshman from Baltimore, Joan Ann Charlton – who would have been the first member of her family to graduate from college – was found dead of multiple stab wounds on Frostburg State’s campus, a crime that was never solved. This student project seems to be the first journalistic coverage of the case of any kind in many years, and is the first comprehensive look at Charlton’s life, death and legacy ever published.
  • Campus Undercovered

    In an investigative mini-series, the NBC News Investigative Unit undertook a deep look at an array of new and under-covered issues on college campuses. It included a first-of-its-kind investigation for a national broadcast network questioning whether on-campus sexual assault tribunals are violating due process rights, including those of alleged perpetrators. It featured a multi-month, nation-wide investigation of college mental health policies, uncovering a trend of students claiming that they have been suspended or expelled for seeking help with mental health issues. It also brought viewers a rare, frank look inside the world of prescription “smart drug” abuse. In each case, these stories triggered pointed responses from the schools involved, sometimes resulting in tangible changes in the lives of the students featured, with potentially significant implications for other students in similar situations.
  • New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking’

    New Jersey’s student loan agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, has some of the most aggressive collection tactics in the industry with few reprieves, even for borrowers who’ve died. ProPublica’s series lays out how HESAA’s loans have unraveled lives – sending many families into financial ruin – to the point they’ve been described as “state-sanctioned loan-sharking.”
  • UA president attempts takeover of for-profit chain ITT Tech

    After nearly a year of reporting on University of Akron President Scott Scarborough, The Devil Strip learned he was negotiating with a for-profit education company for what they suspected was a curriculum deal. Instead, they discovered that company was brokering a deal for the university to take over ITT Tech. The small paper broke this story, which was echoed by several outlets who were shut out of the university. They, meanwhile, had Scarborough on the phone admitting to the negotiations. While the school locked down the information, Sen. Dick Durbin referenced their reporting in an address to President Obama, promising to keep an eye on UA. Soon afterwards, the university abandoned the efforts, Scarborough was removed from office and ITT Tech closed all its campuses.
  • Who’s getting rich off your student debt?

    The student loan program was supposed to help open the door to higher education, but it’s become something else: a profit center for Wall Street and the government. Now the program is making things worse for some of the people it was designed to help. This episode of Reveal explores how this happened and who’s winning and losing as a result.
  • Pharaoh Brown Investigation

    Over a two-month-long investigation we uncovered three acts of violence committed by star University of Oregon football player Pharaoh Brown that went previously unreported: Brown had assaulted two teammates in the locker room — giving one a concussion from a punch to the back of the head — and been investigated by local police for attempting to strangle his girlfriend. We found no record of disciplinary action taken against Brown by the team, university or police.
  • Rental Inspections

    Student rental housing being the chief industry of our small college town of Frostburg, Md., student reporter Brad Kroner worked for months to obtain city inspection data of rental units. The information finally provided showed 75 percent of rental units had not been inspected in the past three years, as required by municipal code, including many units owned by the mayor. Embarrassed by the published story that resulted, City Hall quickly released an updated set of data – which still showed the city was far from compliant – and said the first set was incomplete because its beleaguered staff had to compile the data from scratch. In other words, the city did not even have the data to know whether it was compliant, until an undergraduate filed a Maryland Public Information Act request asking for it.
  • Who’s getting rich off your student debt?

    America’s student loan system was created in the 1960s as part of an effort to alleviate poverty and inequality. But by 2016, some 42 million Americans owed an astonishing $1.3 trillion on their student loans, and the debt load had doubled in eight years. How did a program intended to help deserving students go to college become a profit center for Wall Street, private investors, even the government? We sought to document how the nation’s student loan crisis unfolded – and who has profited from it.
  • It Doesn't Make Cents: Hidden 529 Fees

    A tiny number can make a huge difference in how much you "pay to save" using government-sponsored 529 college savings plans. The D.C. government scrambled to completely overhaul its 529 program after the News 4 I-Team found D.C. residents pay thousands more in fees than parents in neighboring states. The team created a special "529 Calculator" that lets parents type in the age of their child, how much they make and where they live to see a side-by-side comparison of how much they could save in each 529 plan in our region...and how much they end up paying in hidden fees. The seemingly simple mobile-friendly design belies an incredibly complex back-end formula, making it the only calculator of its kind available anywhere on the internet. This calculator helped the team definitively show D.C. parents were getting a raw deal - prompting the D.C. Treasurer's office to fire the plan's administrator and award a new contract less than six weeks after the initial investigation aired - saving D.C. parents hundreds of thousands of dollars previously wasted on hidden and unnecessary fees. Story #1: http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Avoiding-High-529-Fees-Navigating-College-Savings-Plan-Pitfalls-397010181.html Story #2: http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/DC-Council-Demands-Action-on-College-Savings-Plans-After-I-Team-Report-401179346.html Story #3: http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/DC-Announces-New-Administrator-for-College-Savings-Plans-407522785.html