Student Loans & Aid

Colleges go after aid-stealing ‘Pell runners”

Police are investigating a $200,000 financial aid scam at the San Francisco Bay Area’s College of Marin, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Twenty-three people are suspected of posing as online students to collect Pell Grants. Two faculty members noticed that “several students in their online classes shared the same address and phone number, weren’t participating in […]

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Community colleges should be free

Following Tennessee’s lead, several states are considering free tuition for community and technical college students. Community Colleges Should Be Free, editorializes Scientific American. Community colleges train technicians for jobs in leading-edge industries and serve as gateways to higher education for first-generation, minority and working-class students. The Tennessee Promise is showing the way. Starting next year, high school […]

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When students default, colleges pay

If too many students default on their loans, colleges risk losing access to federal student aid, writes Heather Boerner in Community College Journal.  As open-access institutions, community colleges enroll many low-income, first-generation and underprepared students.  So community colleges are developing default management plans. If students can’t get Pell Grants, “You might as well close your doors,” says […]

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Trained, jobless and in debt

Joe DeGrella of Louisville trained as a cardiology technician but works at AutoZone. Credit: Luke Sharrett for The New York Times Millions of laid-off Americans have used federal aid to train for new jobs, reports the New York Times. Yet many end up jobless and in debt. It’s not clear the $3.1 billion Workforce Investment Act […]

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Bad credit? Proposal eases PLUS loan rules

People who’ve fallen up to $2,085 behind on their debts will be able to take out federal PLUS loans under a proposed regulation relaxing credit requirements reports Inside Higher Ed. In addition, the Education Department will analyze only two years of a prospective borrower’s credit history, down from five years. In 2011, the Education Department tightened […]

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Higher ed a la carte

Should students loans be available for job training?Accreditation is a higher ed cartel, argues Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, on The Federalist. He proposes letting states accredit alternative postsecondary programs, such as job training, apprenticeships, hybrid on-campus/on-the-job models and distance-learning options. People seeking skills — but not necessarily a degree — could assemble the education […]

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Too much information

College students get more information than they can handle, concludes a report by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Streamlining consumer information regulations — and eliminating some requirements — would help students focus on what they really need to know, advises NASFAA. “The number of disclosures students receive from their institutions is overwhelming,” said NASFAA’s […]

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Families spend more for college

Parents are spending more to send their children to college, reports Sallie Mae’s How America Pays for College 2014.  Ninety-eight percent of families agree that college is a worthwhile investment. Families spent more out of pocket (42 percent of college costs) while overall borrowing (22 percent of college costs) was at the lowest level in […]

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How colleges can prevent default

Protecting Colleges and Students looks at how nine community colleges are helping student borrowers avoid default. The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) collaborated on the report. Not surprisingly, borrowers who left college without earning at least 15 credits were much more likely to default than […]

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Feds will test aid for competency programs

North Carolina community colleges and state universities will award college credit for military training and experience. Hoping to speed older students to a degree, the U.S. Education Department will allow some colleges to award credit — and student aid — for competency and prior learning, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. The “experimental sites” will be announced […]

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