For weeks, there has been speculation that Hillary Clinton was preparing a plan to promote debt-free college. That speculation really took off Wednesday when Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, referenced the idea in an interview with CNBC. Asked about how Clinton would appeal to younger voters, Mook said, “What voters are looking for in this election is someone who’s going to be a champion for everyday people. For young people that’s debt-free college, that’s finding that job after you graduate.” Representatives of Clinton's campaign declined to say to Politico that Mook's statement represented an official campaign endorsement of the policy, but said that Clinton would be releasing detailed proposals on paying for college.
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For three years, Cheyney University failed to meet its requirements to track federal student aid awarded to its students, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Colleges and universities are required to do such tracking to make sure students are eligible, and Cheyney could have to repay funds for which it can't document student eligibility. Just under $50 million in aid awards was not tracked, and that process has now started. It is unclear how much the university could owe. Cheyney, a historically black college in Pennsylvania, is already facing significant financial problems.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, last year sought leniency for Corinthian Colleges after the Education Department imposed tight limits on the for-profit provider's access to federal aid, Bloomberg reported. In a letter to senior department officials obtained by Bloomberg, Rubio argued that the department should show leniency to Corinthian while it was cooperating with the department's investigation. “It has been brought to my attention that the U.S. Department of Education has recently placed extreme financial constraints on Corinthian Colleges, Inc. by restricting the company's timely access to federal financial aid. It is my understanding the Department of Education has requested extensive documents be provided by Corinthian Colleges for review, and Corinthian has acted in good faith to try to provide these documents as expeditiously as possible,” Rubio wrote.
The Bloomberg article also noted that Corinthian Colleges contributed $5,000 to Rubio's political action committee during the 2014 election cycle.
A spokesperson for Rubio defended the letter, telling Bloomberg, “Senator Rubio felt it was important to protect the thousands of students in Florida from being punished and having their educations disrupted while the investigation was underway. His priority has always been to improve access to higher education options and increase transparency in higher education.”
Parents who are saving money for their children to attend college said they are earmarking 10 percent of their total savings for that purpose, according to a new report from Sallie Mae, the student lender. But the average amount parents said they have set aside for college has declined by 25 percent since last year, to $10,040 from $13,408.
"Parents are allocating approximately 10 percent of their total savings for their children’s college, a rate that has remained stable over the past three years," said the report. "However, since savings overall are down, the dollar amounts being saved for college are also lower."
This is the fifth installment of Sallie Mae's college saving study, which it first released in 2008. The report found that 4 in 10 of the surveyed parents said they were confident they could pay for the future price of college.