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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.

The U.S. Government Is Collecting Student Loans It Promised to Forgive

December 20, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education has two quite different roles in the lives of indebted former students. The same bureaucracy that must safeguard taxpayer dollars by collecting $1.1 trillion in loans also oversees the nation's largest-ever effort to forgive student debt.  The Obama administration has repeatedly promised that borrowers eligible to have their student loans cancelled would be reimbursed for "every penny." But for months, the Education Department has been actively working to collect on federal student debt owed by tens of thousands of former students at Corinthian Colleges Inc.

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.

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.

There Are Cracks Forming in the College Education Business

U.S. News & World Report
December 15, 2016

While tuition rates continue to rise, the cost of a college education may have finally gotten to the point where it is discouraging students from going to college. The National Center for Education Statistics reports estimated total college enrollment numbers every two years. After peaking at 21 million in 2010, the total number of enrolled college students declined for the first time in 2012 to 20.6 million and then in 2014 to 20.2 million. College enrollment isn't the only crack forming in the higher education market.

Borrower Defense Regulations—Final Rule Issued

NAICU Washington Update
December 14, 2016

Final regulations have been published on how students who have been defrauded by institutions of higher education can have their loans forgiven.

Trump's Plan to Make Student Loans Great Again

Forbes - Commentary
December 14, 2016

Zack Friedman, founder of Make Lemonade, writes:  If President-elect Donald Trump implements his proposed student loan plan, there may be good news on the horizon for millions of student loan borrowers.