student debt

student debt

For-Profit Colleges Under Fire

Earlier this year, President Obama and his administration made waves when they announced new steps to address concerns about student loan debt. They announced new regulations that would require career colleges to do a better job of preparing students for gainful employment. If the schools do not meet the new regulations, they could lose access to federal student aid.

books and money

In a release about the new regulations, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, “Higher education should open up doors of opportunity, but students in these low-performing programs often end up worse off than before they enrolled: saddled by debt and with few – if any – options for a career.”

“The proposed regulations address growing concerns about unaffordable levels of loan debt for students enrolled in these programs by targeting the lowest-performing programs, while shining a light on best practices and giving all programs an opportunity to improve.”

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Law Schools Applicants Lowest in 10 Years

If you are applying for law school this year, you might want to start celebrating because you will have less competition than any other applicants have had for the past 10 years. The Law School Admission Test recently reported that it administered fewer tests this year – only 84 percent as many as it did last year. The number of tests taken has failed by 25 percent in the past two years.

This decline in the number of people who are taking the LSAT could be a reaction to the view that the legal market in the USA is in pretty bad shape. This means that the 45,000 law students who are expected to graduate this year will have a hard time finding a job, which might be causing new applicants to rethink their decisions to pursue a law career.

“For a long time there has been this culturally embedded perception that if you go to law school, it will be worth the money,” said Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency, an organization that specializes in law education policy. “The idea that law school is an easy ticket to financial security is finally breaking down.” Read the rest of this entry »



Students Voice Their Outrage at Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street Sign: "Save Our Schools"At a time when high unemployment coincides with an all-time high in student debt, it’s unsurprising that students are an important demographic at the Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) protests. According to the New York Times, over 20 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed, and of those who do have jobs nearly a third have positions that do not require a college degree. These conditions are symptoms of an ailing economy, which the protesters argue has been exacerbated–if not caused–by Wall Street institutions. Some have remarked that #OWS has galvanized young people more effectively than existing labor unions, perhaps due to the inclusive nature of the protests and its anti-leadership mentality.

On Wednesday October 5th, a major walk-out joined students with other protesters at Foley Square, followed by a march to Zuccotti park, often referred to by its former name, Liberty Square. The demonstration attracted students of all ages from a diverse range of institutions. High school students from around the city marched side-by-side with college students from the CUNY and SUNY systems, Columbia University, The New School, New York University, Cooper Union and many others.

The coordination of campuses across the city with major labor unions was not only an important moment for students expressing solidarity with each other, but also for the #OWS movement as a whole. Students at all levels have found institutional support from teachers unions and university professors. The United Federation of Teachers is supporting the movement, along with other major union groups. According to The Occupied Wall Street Journal, a crowd-funded newspaper, 137 faculty members marched from The New School alone.

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College Dating Website Accused of Prostitution

The dating website SeekingArrangement.com matches college students with older men and women. The website lures struggling students or “sugar babies” into dating much older and financially secure “sugar daddies” or “sugar mommies” in the possible exchange of money.

Their website reads:

To the sugar daddy or mommy: “Single or married, you have no time for games. You are looking to mentor or spoil someone special — perhaps a ‘personal secretary’? Secret lover? Student? Or a mistress for an extra-marital affair?”

And to the sugar baby: “Sugar babes are college students, aspiring actresses or someone just starting out. You seek a generous Benefactor to pamper, mentor and take care of you — perhaps to help you financially.”

Taylor was once a sugar baby. The 22-year old Hunter College student was $15,000 in debt and looked to Seeking Arrangement as a means to pay for college.

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5 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans Faster

Newly-minted graduates are probably on cloud nine after they finish college. That is, until they receive their very first payment voucher for their loans. I remember the day when I picked up that dreadful Sallie Mae envelop from the mail box. I immediately did the math. If I paid the requested amount every month, it would take 12 years to pay off my loan.

I had no intention of making payments for over a decade, so I devised a plan that would have them paid off in half the time.

Here are five tips that will vanish your debt in no time:

Live like you did in college: Chances are, you lived on next to nothing in college. Keep that same mentality for the next year or so. When you find that your disposable income increases, you can put that money towards your monthly payment.

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Government Sues for Student Loan Repayment

Rising college tuition costs force an abundance of students to rely on Federal student loans. When it comes to repaying those loans, American borrowers are defaulting at an increasing rate. The United States Department of Education is taking action to get their money by suing persons who owe large loan repayments to the government.

“Defaulting” on a loan occurs when a borrower fails to make payments as determined by the loan agreement. This is different from “deferring” a loan; an option used by many students to postpone the repaying of a loan. It is not uncommon for student loans to come with a deferment option for a certain period of time. When deferment time is up and the borrower does not pay, the loan becomes “delinquent”. After a period of delinquency, the loan goes into “default”. When a loan defaults the lender has legal power to obtain their money. In the case of federal student loans the lender is the United States Government.

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Highest Student Debt by State

washington-DCBecause loans are the primary means of paying for education in the U.S., the Project on Student Debt has set out to increase public understanding of student loans.

While the average student debt load in America is $24,000, in some states this amount in much higher. Below is the list of the ten states with the highest student debt. These figures were calculated from voluntarily reported data, submitted from nearly 1,000 public and private non-profit colleges. For-profit and two-year schools are not factored into the data. The highest average student dept is based on data from 2009 graduates.

1. Washington, D.C.
Average debt: $30,033
School with the highest average student debt: Corcoran College of Art and Design

2. New Hampshire
Average debt: $29,443
School with the highest average student debt: Saint Anselm College

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Student Debt – Who is to Blame?

478790_loan_applicationCollege Board® recently found in a recent study that the average student debt from a private school for bachelor’s degree was around $22,380.

In another study, according to the research and advocacy organization Project on Student Debt, in Oakland, California, 10 percent of 2007 and 2008 graduates had accumulated over $40,000 worth of student loan debt. They gathered this data per calculated Federal statistics.

While the students are burdened with the debt, in my opinion, the responsibility also falls upon the financial loan providers and the colleges who connect the students with their loan sharks.

In reality though, prestigious universities are not likely to discourage student loans to afford their hefty tuition rates.

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President Obama Signs New Education Reform Act

Image Via CBS.com

Image Via CBS.com

On March 30, 2010 at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama signed into effect the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. This act was “two major victories that will improve the lives of our people for generations to come,” said President Obama.

This education act will save taxpayers almost $70 billion by removing banks’ abilities to act as middlemen in the student loan process. Instead, this money will be moved into the Pell Grant program to help fund community colleges and colleges that have been historically black colleges.

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Economy Extends College Career by Two Years

presitigous schoolMost people think that when students are applying to colleges, they are looking for the most prestigious school; students must want to go to the school that offers the best degrees for their fields. However, this isn’t really the case.

A new study by Public Agenda said that students are more concerned with how much an education will end up costing them than with the prestige associated with each school.

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