UNC Board Limits Use of Tuition for Financial Aid

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has adopted a policy that will bar the UNC system's campuses from spending more than 15 percent of tuition revenue on financial aid, The News and Observer reported. Six of the system's campuses -- including UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University -- currently spend larger proportions of tuition revenue on student aid. Officials at Chapel Hill, which has devoted considerable resources to expanding aid for low-income students, have predicted that the policy will lead to considerable increases in student debt levels. Proponents of the policy have said that the policy will limit tuition increases, and that such limits help all students. University officials have said that they plan to try to raise more money so that they can pay for financial aid that would be limited under the new policy.


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4 Charged in Loan Fraud Scheme

Four men have been charged with using false identities to apply for student loans in programs in which they were not truly enrolled or eligible to enroll in, The Herald-News reported. They sought a total of $240,000 in loans based on false claims of being students either at Joliet Junior College, Harper College or Elgin Community College, authorities said.


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In VA reform bill, Congress provides student vets with in-state tuition

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Congress approves measure that effectively requires states to offer in-state tuition to recent veterans and their families. The bill won approval over the concerns of some public universities.

Parents Are Paying More for College

Out-of-pocket contributions to cover the price of college rose in 2014 after three years of decreases, according to the seventh annual installment of a study the lender Sallie Mae released today. Parents in particular are picking up more of tuition costs, and now pay for 30 percent of the total amount from their own income and savings. Higher-income parents contributed a much larger share than their less wealthy peers, the study found. Students paid for 12 percent from their own income and savings. Both parents and students are borrowing less to pay for college. Borrowed funds covered 22 percent of costs, a decline from 27 percent in the two prior years.

Report: Work-Study Students More Likely to Graduate

Students who participate in the federal work-study program are more likely to graduate and be employed six years after college than their similar counterparts who don’t participate in the program, according to a new study.

Two Columbia University researchers, Judith Scott-Clayton and Veronica Minaya, examined the impact of work-study jobs on students’ academic and future employment outcomes compared to students working in non-work-study jobs and those not working at all.

They found that the work-study program had a positive academic effect – but no impact on later employment – for work-study students who planned to work during college regardless of whether they received the federal benefit (about half of all work-study students). For the other segment of work-study students – students who would not have worked without work-study – the researchers found no or a slightly negative impact on academics but positive effects on their post-college employment.

The authors of the study also found that the positive effects of the work-study program were magnified for lower-income and lower-SAT students compared with their wealthier, higher-scoring peers.

That finding, the authors write, suggest that the effectiveness of the Federal Work-Study program “might be increased by modifying the allocation formula--which currently provides disproportionate support to students at elite private institutions--to better target lower-income and lower-scoring students.”

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Student debt once again popular on the campaign trail, as Democrats look to keep Senate

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As Democrats look to keep their grip on the U.S. Senate, they’re touting their support of legislation to let borrowers refinance their debt at lower interest rates. 

At Senate hearing aimed at states' role in college affordability, Indiana attorney general points finger at feds

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At Senate hearing, state and federal officials point fingers at one another when discussing who can fix issues of college cost and access.

U.S. House votes to change college tax breaks, boost student loan counseling

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Lawmakers' overhaul of higher education tax benefits gives colleges and universities things to cheer and protest. They also approve a bill to boost student loan counseling. 

Obama signs workforce training bill, announces new executive action to overhaul federal job training programs

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Obama administration continues efforts to streamline programs, many of which involve community colleges. But efforts to promote reporting of job results worry some educators.

Former College Financial Aid Chief Faces Fraud Charges

Christine Mordach, former head of financial aid at Merrimack College, is facing federal fraud charges, The Boston Business Journal reported. She allegedly promised students grants, but then tricked them into taking Perkins loans, and didn't provide the help she promised with loan repayment. Mordach's lawyer predicted "a speedy resolution of this issue," but did not elaborate. Authorities indicated that the college was a victim of the fraud.



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