Betsy DeVos to Testify Before Congress Over Loan Collection From Defrauded Students

EDUCATION SECRETARY Betsy DeVos is set to testify before a House oversight panel next week about how her department incorrectly collected federal student loan payments from borrowers who were defrauded by for-profit colleges. The announcement comes after months of back-and-forth between Rep. Bobby Scott, Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, and DeVos and her lawyers – including multiple threats to subpoena the secretary – over the department’s mishandling of more than 29,000 borrowers who were students Read More

Families, Not Just Students, Feel The Weight Of The Student Loan Crisis

For many college students settling into their dorms this month, the path to campus — and paying for college — started long ago. And it likely involved their families. The pressure to send kids to college, coupled with the realities of tuition, has fundamentally changed the experience of being middle class in America, says Caitlin Zaloom, an anthropologist and associate professor at New York University. It’s changed the way that middle class parents raise their Read More

Confused By Your College Financial Aid Letter? You’re Not Alone

This time last year, McKenna Hensley had a big question on her mind: Where would she go to college? The answer — sort of — was somewhere in her pile of 10 financial aid offers. Each school she’d been admitted to had its own individualized letter, terms and calculations. “It was very confusing,” the now college freshman remembers. One letter sticks out in her mind: The school had bolded about $76,000 in the upper-right corner Read More

Federal Watchdog Issues Scathing Report On Ed Department’s Handling Of Student Loans

A critical new report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General finds the department’s student loan unit failed to adequately supervise the companies it pays to manage the nation’s trillion-dollar portfolio of federal student loans. The report also rebukes the department’s office of Federal Student Aid for rarely penalizing companies that failed to follow the rules. Instead of safeguarding borrowers’ interests, the report says, FSA’s inconsistent oversight allowed these companies, known as loan servicers, Read More

‘I Am Heartbroken’: Your Letters About Public Service Loan Forgiveness

“Thank YOU,” writes Cara Christensen, a first-grade teacher in Washington state who read NPR’s deep dive into the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). The reporting, she says, “made me feel not so alone.” We received dozens of emails, tweets and Facebook comments from aggrieved borrowers responding to news that, over the past year, 99 percent of applications for the popular loan-forgiveness program have been denied. PSLF offers the promise of loan forgiveness to nurses, teachers, Read More

U.S. Department of Education Announces Opportunity for Federal Student Loan Borrowers to be Reconsidered for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) has launched a process for federal student loan borrowers to be reconsidered for loan forgiveness under a temporary expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. This limited opportunity—which the Department is referring to as Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF)—was made possible by a $350-million appropriation through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. The law provides additional conditions under which borrowers may become eligible for loan forgiveness if some or Read More

3.9 Million Students Dropped Out of College With Debt in 2015 and 2016

The saddest stories among those who owe some of the $1.3 trillion in student loan debt are those of college dropouts. They took out loans to go to school, hoping for a better life. But without college degrees, many don’t find good jobs to help pay back these loans. It not only ruins their lives, it’s terrible for the nation’s budget. The loans are financed by the federal government, ultimately leaving taxpayers on the hook. Which schools Read More

U.S. Department of Education Releases National Student Loan FY 2014 Cohort Default Rate

The U.S. Department of Education today released the FY 2014 three-year federal student loan cohort default rate. The rate increased slightly from 11.3 percent to 11.5 percent for students who entered repayment between fiscal years 2013 and 2014. During the tracking period for the FY 2014 borrower cohort (Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2016), more than five million borrowers entered repayment, and 580,671 of them—or 11.5 percent—defaulted on their loans. Those borrowers attended 6,173 postsecondary Read More

Education Department Establishes Enhanced Federal Aid Participation Requirements for ACICS-accredited Colleges

Beginning today, the U.S. Department of Education will inform colleges accredited by the Accrediting Council on Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) of additional operating conditions required for continued participation in the federal student aid programs. These new provisions will apply to ACICS-accredited institutions and follow U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.’s final decision to withdraw federal recognition of the accrediting agency. Although ACICS is no longer a federally recognized accrediting agency, the Department may provisionally certify ACICS-accredited institutions Read More

U.S. Department of Education Announces Requirements for New Federal Loan Servicing System

The U.S. Department of Education today announced an important step forward in the Obama Administration’s efforts to strengthen the student loan servicing experience for borrowers. Federal Student Aid issued the next phase of its procurement to acquire a single servicing platform to support the management of loan repayment for the more than 30 million Americans with student loan debt serviced by the Department of Education. The solicitation details the specific requirements the selected contractor must Read More