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Student Financial Aid

Donald Trump’s Attack On Education Is Imminent

WBUR Radio (Boston, MA) - Commentary
December 22, 2016

Mark T. Williams, who teaches finance, risk management and capital markets at Boston University Questrom School of Business and is a former Federal Reserve Bank examiner, writes:  The sustained greatness of America — its economic and social fabric — is made stronger when the dreams of its citizens are met. One hopes Mr. Trump’s policy decisions show a greater understanding of the vital role our nation’s colleges and universities play in fulfilling this promise.

To Boost the Economy, Help Students First

New York Times – Presidential Opinion
December 21, 2016

Sheila C. Bair, president, Washington College (MD), writes: Donald J. Trump has made bold and provocative campaign promises on taxes, trade, immigration and infrastructure. These pledges are all in service of bolstering our economic future. While we hope these initiatives will help our economic prospects, there is one important measure missing from the debate. And it could have an even more immediate and direct impact on economic growth: student debt relief. Student debt relief is smart economics and smart politics for the new administration.

More Older Americans Caught in Student Debt Crisis

St. Louis Public Radio (KWMU)
December 21, 2016

An increasing number of older Americans are having problems with student loan debt — so much so that their Social Security checks are being reduced because the federal government is withholding loan repayments. And those reductions result in Social Security recipients falling below the poverty line, according to findings of a Government Accountability Office report sought by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

What’s In and What’s Out for Colleges as Trump Takes Office

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 21, 2016

If you’re a college leader who feels micromanaged by federal regulations, a university trustee who thinks that the U.S. Department of Education has been overly intrusive in overseeing colleges’ handling of sexual-assault and discrimination cases, or a would-be education provider that is not a traditionally accredited college, you may well like some of the approaches of the coming administration of President-elect Donald J. Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.  At least that’s how some of the outlines of the new political landscape for higher education appear to be taking shape, based on recent Chronicle interviews with more than two dozen college leaders, policy advocates, and current state and federal government officials.

Would You Sell Your Prized Possessions to Pay for College?

December 19, 2016

Just how much would you give up for your children to go to their dream schools?  For Seattle's Al Sanders, the answer was his precious stash of 5,000 comics starring everyone from the Avengers to Iron Man to the Fantastic Four. He had been collecting them ever since the eighth grade.  It may not be someone's first choice to say goodbye to prized personal possessions, but sometimes it may be a parent's only choice.

Why a Novel Way to Pay for College Appeals to Conservatives

Chronicle of Higher Education
December 19, 2016

Income-share agreements, in which investors help finance students’ educations in return for a percentage of their earnings, have become a hot idea in some corners of higher education. Especially conservative ones.

Should Colleges Be on the Hook for Some of the Loan Money Their Students Don’t Pay Back?

December 19, 2016

The value of a college degree has never been higher, but the high cost of college means that pursuing a degree has never been riskier.  A handful of congressional lawmakers and higher education policy wonks, including professors and think tank researchers, are coalescing around an idea to change that. The fix, known as risk-sharing, would require that colleges be on the hook for some of the federal financial aid money their students are unable to repay. And in an era of high partisan tension, forcing colleges to have “skin in the game” has support from members of both parties.

Feds Kick Off Loan Counseling Experiment on Select College Campuses

Washington Post
December 16, 2016

Despite the tens of thousands of dollars college students are allowed to borrow, debt that can define their financial lives for years, schools are obligated to provide only two counseling sessions before graduation. An experimental program, however, is giving a select group of colleges the chance to beef up advising and keep students from making costly mistakes.
Fifty-one colleges and universities are participating in a pilot program to test the effectiveness of adding more counseling sessions and using a variety of tools to help students manage their debt.

Congress Likely to Consider Reining In Student-Loan Programs, House Republican Says

Wall Street Journal
December 16, 2016

The next Congress should look to reduce how much the government lends individually to college and graduate students, a key House Republican said Thursday, comparing the loan programs to policies that helped inflate the housing bubble and ended in a wave of foreclosures.  Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, the incoming chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said the government has made it too easy for students and their parents to borrow too much, in turn driving up prices. She said she won’t seek to end federal student lending altogether. But she singled out so-called Plus loans, which go to graduate students and parents of undergraduates, as being problematic.

Does Financial Aid Really Drive Up Tuition?
December 15, 2016

In 1987, William Bennett wrote a piece in the New York Times with the headline “Our Greedy Colleges.” Bennett was the U.S. Secretary of Education at the time, and he argued that increases in federal financial aid had allowed colleges “blithely to raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”  But what became known as the “Bennett Hypothesis” has been hard to prove.