Maureen O'Brien told her daughter Emily Macri: dream big.
She could pick any college she wanted and they would figure out a way to pay for it.
Macri chose the University of Vermont, which costs more than $49,000 in tuition and fees per year for out-of-state residents.
O'Brien and her daughter co-signed a private student loan from Sallie Mae for $24,000 and a $30,000 Parent PLUS loan, a federal loan program for parents. And that was just for Macri's first two years of college.
In this Jan. 8, 2009, photo provided by the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff's Department, a small Draganflyer X6 drone makes a test flight in Mesa County, Colo. with a Forward Looking Infrared payload. The drone, which was on loan to the sheriff's department from the manufacturer, measures about 36 inches from rotor tip to rotor tip, weights just over two pounds.
Credit Larry Abramson / NPR
A homemade drone over Cesar Chavez Park in Berkeley, Calif. Hobbyists and commercial manufacturers are anticipating new rules governing their domestic use.
Credit Larry Abramson / NPR
Hi-tech hobbyists Andreas Oesterer and Mark Harrison line up their homemade drones in Berkeley, Calif.
Credit Mesa County Sheriff's Dept. / AP
Deputy Amanda Hill of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office in western Colorado prepares to use a Draganflyer X6 drone equipped with a video camera to help search for a suspect in a knife attack in this undated photo.
Credit Larry Abramson / NPR
Drone enthusiast Andreas Oesterer wears homemade video goggles, wrapped in gray foam to block out the glare of the sun, as he flies a drone over Cesar Chavez Park.
Drones transformed the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. But their use has been extremely limited in U.S. skies. The Federal Aviation Administration essentially bans the commercial use of drones, and government use is still highly restricted.
But that's changing.
For a long time, drones, which are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were exotic, expensive and out of reach for all but military users. Today, however, a clever hobbyist can have his own eye in the sky.
Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.
Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.
Meet The Candidates
In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.
Credit Art (c) Judd Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
In the 1970s, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, where he created giant works of art that bask beneath vast desert skies. In the years since, Marfa has emerged as a hot spot for art tourism.
Credit Brian Santa Maria / iStockphoto.com
This summer, NPR's Destination Art series is going off the beaten path to visit small to midsize North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. And we want to hear from you! Where's your favorite art hot spot? What makes it unique? Tell us about it.
Credit Matt Slocum / AP
Prada, Marfa is a faux boutique displaying luxury bags and shoes in the middle of the sparse Texas landscape. It was created in 2005 by artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset.
Credit Citoyen du Monde Inc / Flickr
Though the locals have mixed feelings about being an art mecca, Kaki Aufdengarten-Scott, Marfa's one-woman chamber of commerce, says without art tourism, "this town would have dried up and blown away."
Credit ydhsu / Flickr
The Marfa Book Co. is run by poet Tim Johnson, who doesn't think Judd would approve of Marfa's emergence as a chic art world destination.
Credit Neda Ulaby / NPR
"You just come out here and you feel like, I want to make something; I want to do something!" explains sculptor Campbell Bosworth. Above, a creative car, spotted on the street in Marfa.
This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.
"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.
Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.
Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.
He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.
India's electric system is under constant stress and blackouts are common. Elliot Hannon was on the streets of New Delhi when power went out Tuesday, but he didn't realize there was an outage until later.
Credit Bikas Das / AP
During the blackout on Tuesday, an Indian barber cut hair by candlelight in his shop in Kolkata.
Credit Prakash Singh / AFP/Getty Images
The traffic in New Delhi's Connaught Place was even worse than usual after the power went out Tuesday. But most Indians viewed the blackout as just one more inconvenience rather than a major crisis.
The LUX Dark Matter Detector is installed in the Davis Cavern of the Sanford Lab in South Dakota in March. The water tank measures 24 feet in diameter, is two stories high and will hold 71,600 gallons.
Credit Steve McEnroe / AP
Businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford has pledged $70 million to the Sanford Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory. He stands next to a plaque dedicating the 4,850 foot level, where several experiments will be set up, in 2009.
Credit Dirk Lammers / AP
The entrance to the Sanford lab is through the Ross Shaft building of the old Homestake Mine in Lead, S.D.
In Lead, S.D., a steel cage drops almost a mile below ground into the Sanford Underground Laboratory. It's formerly the deepest underground gold mine in North America, and when it closed a decade ago, state officials hoped that an underground science laboratory along with on-site university classes could spur economic development.
American swimmer Nathan Adrian's name hasn't been on everyone's mind, the way that Michael Phelps' or Ryan Lochte's has. But he did something that even Lochte couldn't do this week: beat Yannick Agnel in a head-to-head race.
Adrian's time of 47.52 seconds in the men's 100-meter freestyle gave him his first individual gold medal, as he also beat James Magnussen of Australia, who came in second, and Brent Hayden of Canada.
While it does indeed appear that "economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year," the Federal Reserve also said in its policy statement this afternoon that it is not — as of yet — taking any news steps to give the economy a boost.
Scientists reported new evidence Wednesday that supports a provocative theory about cancer.
Three separate teams of scientists said they had, for the first time, shown that so-called cancer stem cells can be found naturally in brain tumors and early forms of skin and colon cancer.
Evidence has been mounting in recent years for the existence of these cells, which would be especially insidious. They are believed to resist standard chemotherapy and radiation and fuel the growth of tumors and relapses.
In his New Yorker article, Fussbudget, Ryan Lizza writes: "To envisage what Republicans would do if they win in November, the person to understand is not necessarily Romney, who has been a policy cipher all his public life. The person to understand is Paul Ryan."
As the presumptive presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is currently the face of the Republican Party. But, as journalist Ryan Lizza suggests in his article in this week's New Yorker, the party's agenda and ideology are being driven by a very different figure: Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.