Student Loans & Aid

Broward limits loans to cut defaults

Broward students attend a debt management workshop. John O’Connor/WLRN “Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” Polonius advised Hamlet. At Florida’s Broward College, financial aid officer Kent Dunston tells would-be borrowers not to borrow more than they need.  The two-hour money-management workshop is required. “You’ll be offered more,” says Dunston. “You don’t need it.” Starting this […]

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California: Student aid lags costs

Grants and scholarships haven’t kept pace with rising living costs  for low-income students at California community colleges and the second-tier California State University system, according to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Students who receive grants and scholarships are more likely to complete a degree, the report finds. At the community colleges and CSU […]

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‘Free’ college won’t help low-income students

“Free community college” programs are a hot idea, writes Robert Kelchen, a Seton Hall professor, in Inside Higher Ed. But low-income students, who already are eligible for Pell Grants, will get little or no benefit. Most pay little or no tuition, but struggle to pay for books, commuting, child care and rent. Tennessee is offering […]

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Tennessee: Certificate holders out-earn 4-year grads

Tennessee workers with associate degrees and long- term certificates often start at higher wages than four-year graduates, according to a new College Measures study. It takes five years for graduates with bachelor’s degrees to catch up. “You don’t need to go to a flagship university to get a good job. There are many successful paths […]

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Chicago: Free tuition for college-ready students

College-ready students will get a free ride to the City Colleges of Chicago‘s seven campuses, reports the Chicago Tribune. To qualify for a Chicago Star Scholarship, which covers tuition, books and fees, students must graduate from a public high school with a 3.0 grade-point average or better and be prepared for college-level math and English. […]

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Colleges get break on default penalties

Only 21 colleges with high default rates — 20 for-profits and one public adult education program — are set to lose access to student aid this year. Many more were at risk. At the last minute, the U.S. Department of Education decided to omit some defaulted loans when calculating default rates.  The rate is based […]

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Reform work-study to serve low-income students

The federal work-study program favors private colleges that enroll few low-income students, charges a new report by Young Invincibles. Work-study should be redesigned to help more needy students, the group urges. To improve access to work-study funds, the authors recommend: Base the formula for allocating work-study funds on how many Pell Grant recipients are enrolled […]

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Ratings may reward colleges for selectivity

Colleges should be rewarding for educating students, not for selecting only the best, said Andrew P. Kelly, who directs the American Enterprise Institute’s Center on Higher Education Reform, at hearings on the president’s proposed college ratings system. Unfortunately, our ability to measure the “value-added” by a college program is almost nonexistent, and the measures that […]

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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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