Jamie Merisotis discusses his book on talent production

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Jamie Merisotis of Lumina Foundation wrote a book on how to rethink higher education and immigration policy to fix America's talent pool problem.

Obama's Income-Based Repayment Expansion Finalized

The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday finalized the regulations carrying out President Obama's expansion of the government's most generous income-based repayment program to more federal student loan borrowers.

Starting this December, all federal direct loan borrowers will be able to cap their monthly payments at 10 percent of their discretionary income and have any remaining undergraduate debt forgiven after 20 years of making payments. Borrowers with loans from graduate school would have to make payments for 25 years.

Borrowers who took out federal loans within the past several years have already had access to a repayment program, Pay as You Earn, with virtually identical benefits.

But the Obama administration estimates that the new program, dubbed Revised Pay as You Earn, or REPAYE, will make some five million borrowers newly eligible for capping their payments at 10 percent of their income and receiving forgiveness after as early as 20 years of repayment.

Education Department officials estimated that two million borrowers will end up choosing to enroll in the new program, and they projected that expansion of benefits will cost $15.3 billion over the next 10 years.

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Obama administration finalizes new restrictions on campus debit cards and other financial products

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The new rules include a prohibition on overdraft fees for campus debit cards and a requirement for colleges to publicly disclose agreements with banks and other financial institutions.

Study calls for stronger connection between jobs and education

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A new study from Georgetown University finds that three-quarters of college students work, but too rarely is the work connected to their studies.

Washington State U Will Help Low-Income Students Save

Washington State University has announced a new program to help low-income students save money and, officials hope, finish college. Up to 85 low-income students a year will be enrolled in a program in which, if they save $1,000 a year and participate in certain financial literacy programs, they will receive $4,000. The program is based on the theory that some low-income students have difficulty saving money, and that lack of funds can hurt chances of retention.

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PWC to Help New Hires Pay Off Debt

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the large auditing and professional services company, has created a program to help its new hires pay off their student debt. The company, which hires up to 12,000 recent college graduates each year, will contribute $1,200 per year for up to six years to pay down its new employees' student debt.

The average PWC employee is 28 years old, said Bob Moritz, the company's chairman and senior partner. And student loans are a big problem for many of the company's younger employees, he said, particularly those who are members of minority groups, who tend to have a higher average debt level.

The company will make automatic monthly contributions directly toward its employees' debt. The payments can be applied to both undergraduate and graduate debt.

Moritz said one goal of the new program, in addition to helping employees, is to encourage them to stay with the company longer.

Appeals court says borrowers can sue major student loan agency

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In a decision hailed by consumer advocates, a federal appeals court rules that a major student loan agency is not immune from lawsuits.

Biden, opting out of 2016 run, backs four years of free public college

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Announcing his decision not to enter the 2016 presidential race, Biden endorses four years of free public higher education, proposals that his would-be Democratic contenders have been championing.

Study: State Scholarships Discourage STEM Majors

State merit-based scholarships reduce the number of students who major in a math, science or technology field by 6.5 percent and maybe more, according to a new analysis in The Journal of Labor Economics. The article speculates that one reason for this decline may be students' fear of losing eligibility due to grade-point average requirements to keep the scholarships.

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In 'free' college plans, some Democrats push student work requirements

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As Democrats pitch various "free" college plans to voters this year, some also encourage or require that students work in exchange for those new benefits.


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