Category Archives: Financial Aid

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What Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget Would Mean for Higher Ed

Updated (5/23/2017, 2:19 p.m.) with details on the budget proposals for scientific and medical research.

The Trump administration on Tuesday released its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the budget would cut federal education programs by more than $10 billion. The Department of Education’s total operating budget would be slashed by $9 billion, and spending on secondary-education programs would be redirected to school-choice initiatives — the chief policy goal of Betsy DeVo…

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Attempt to Get Trump’s Tax Returns May Have Alerted IRS to Data Tool’s Vulnerability

Do the security concerns that caused the Internal Revenue Service to shut down an online tool that’s key to applying for student aid stem from a private investigator’s attempt to use the tool to get President Trump’s tax records?

That question is raised in an article by the newsmagazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which reports that it has obtained court records that identify a Louisiana-based private investigator who is accused of using the data-retrieval tool for that purpose in Septe…

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Education Dept. Says It Will Pick Single Loan Servicer

The U.S. Department of Education will award one contract to Navient, GreatNet, or the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to service student loans and to build a platform to do so, James Manning, the acting under secretary of education, told reporters on Friday. The move is part of the next phase of the department’s revamping of how it chooses an outside company to service the billions of dollars in federal student loans it issues.

In April, Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, with…

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Trump’s Budget Could Eliminate Public-Service Loan Forgiveness. Here’s What to Know.

Budget documents obtained by The Washington Post paint a bleak picture for many federal education programs: The newspaper reported on Wednesday that President Trump’s administration plans to cut them by a total of $10.6 billion. The proposed education budget would cut spending on programs in secondary education in order to funnel some of that money into school-choice programs, which have long been a major focus for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

In terms of money for higher education, the prop…

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Federal Watchdog Is Investigating Possible Bias in Student-Loan Servicing

A federal watchdog is investigating whether student-loan-servicing companies discriminate against borrowers with past-due debt based on their race, sex, or gender, The Washington Post reports.

Patrice A. Ficklin, director of the office of fair lending at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told reporters on Friday that the agency had identified student-loan servicing as an area at risk of credit discrimination, according to the Post. “We’re looking at disparities in outcomes … and we…

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DeVos Withdraws Obama-Era Memos Focused on Improving Loan Servicing

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday withdrew three memos, issued during President Barack Obama’s administration, that had been focused on streamlining the student-loan-servicing industry and improving customer service for borrowers.

Ms. DeVos described the move in a letter to James W. Runcie, chief operating officer of the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid.

The three memos, issued by John B. King Jr., a former secretary of education, and Ted Mitchell, a former under sec…

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Breach of Financial-Aid Tool May Have Compromised Data on 100,000 Taxpayers

Nearly 100,000 taxpayers may have had their personal information compromised by a security breach of an Internal Revenue Service tool that makes it easier to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the Fafsa, according to the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, who testified on Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee.

The tool, which mysteriously and abruptly went offline in March, is scheduled to be available again in October, officials have said. Mr. Koskinen testified that 3…

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IRS Tool Used for Student-Aid Forms Will Be Offline Until the Fall

A tool that millions of students have used to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the Fafsa, will be offline until the fall, the Internal Revenue Service and the Education Department’s Federal Student Aid office announced on Thursday.

The IRS and the department announced the outage of the Data Retrieval Tool, a resource that makes it easier to fill out the Fafsa, earlier this month, several days after the tool mysteriously went offline.

“While this tool provides an important c…

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Here’s a Map of ‘Free College’ Programs Nationwide

Lawmakers and public-policy advocates are increasingly looking to raise attainment at public colleges and universities through high-profile “free college” efforts, such as one proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, that cover basic costs for students attending state institutions.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate of School of Education has created an interactive map that highlights programs “designed to increase college attainment in particular places.” The researchers called the…

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With IRS Data Tool Down, Lawmakers Ask Education Dept. to Help Students

A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate has asked the U.S. Department of Education to help families who may be affected by the outage of a popular online tool that had made it easier to apply for federal student aid.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Education Department announced this month that they had suspended the data-retrieval tool, a device that automatically pulls federal tax information into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, th…