Wide praise for restoration of Pell Grant eligibility for students at closed colleges

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The Education Department said Friday it would restore Pell Grant eligibility for students whose education was interrupted by the closure of their institutions.

Brookings study finds growing disparities in student loan debt between black and white graduates

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Consumer advocates say a Brookings study highlights the need for comprehensive federal data on the relationship between college loan debt and race.

Report: Average Student Loan Debt Ticked Up for 2015 Graduates

College students who graduated with student loan debt in 2015 left with an average of $30,100 in debt -- an increase of 4 percent over the 2014 average, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the Institute for College Access and Success. (Note: This item was corrected from an earlier version to note that the average debt is for graduates who borrowed.)

About one-fifth of that loan debt came from nonfederal loans, which provide fewer consumer protections. Nearly a third of graduating seniors left college with no student loan debt.

The report is the 11th annual analysis by TICAS of students' debt upon graduation.

"Student debt is still rising, and the typical college graduate now leaves school with over $30,000 in loans," said TICAS President Lauren Asher in a statement. "We need to make college more affordable and debt less burdensome for students and families."

TICAS found that high debt persists in Northeast and Midwestern states, while states in the West had the lowest levels of average student loan debt. Two-thirds of graduates with state student loan debt attended college in Minnesota, New Jersey and Texas.

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Michigan's use of welfare funds for private college tuition grants gets new scrutiny

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Michigan uses millions in federal welfare funds for grants to private colleges -- and some of the money flows to students from middle class and affluent families.

Trump makes his most substantial comments yet on higher ed

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In most sustained comments on colleges in the campaign, GOP candidate worries about student debt, endorses income-based repayment, blasts institutions with "bloat" and large endowments, and vows to protect students' free speech. UPDATE: Clinton campaign responds.

DeVry settles job placement claims with U.S. Education Department

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Settlement between for-profit university and Education Department resolves charges over unsubstantiated advertising about job placement, but Federal Trade Commission lawsuit over same claims remains.

Groups Urge Multiyear Income-Driven Repayment

A coalition of 20 groups -- including unions, consumer groups and the loan servicing company Navient -- this week wrote to federal agencies to call for a streamlined and simplified process of reapplying for income-driven student loan repayment plans. They asked the feds to allow borrowers to automatically re-enroll in the plans each year through increased information sharing between the U.S. Department of Education, the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.

“As student advocates, we hear from borrowers all the time who are already struggling with repayment, and then they’re hit with additional fees because they failed to recertify for [income-driven repayment],” said Maggie Thompson, executive director of Generation Progress, which is a youth-focused division of the Center for American Progress, in a written statement. “This is such an easy fix for the departments and the IRS to undertake, and they don’t even need Congress to pass any new laws. It would benefit both borrowers and servicers and save the government needless paperwork.”

Indiana creates student 'value index' while support builds for a federal student data system

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While political support in Washington builds slowly for a federal student record database, Indiana and the University of Texas System get creative with their own data on how students fare after college.

Poverty Aid for Wealthy Students in Michigan

Michigan has spent more than $1 billion in federal poverty funds on state-based college aid programs since 2007, reported Bridge Magazine, a publication from the Center for Michigan, a nonprofit group. A substantial portion of that aid went to middle-class and wealthy students who attended private institutions. And the magazine reported that about 60 percent of students who receive the aid are from families with incomes above $50,000.

Marymount California Wheels Out Car Incentive

Marymount California University has rolled out an automobile incentive in a drive to entice students to graduate in four years.

The private Catholic university in Southern California has a new program starting this fall for freshmen that dangles the keys to Mini Coopers. Freshmen can purchase a car from an area dealer at a discounted price under a new program called My Marymount Mini. The students will be responsible for making four years of car payments. But if they graduate in four years, the university will make their fifth and final year of payments, worth up to $5,000.

“Our students will commute to and from our campuses, drive to their internships, and explore the abundance of beauty, culture and fun that Southern California has to offer,” said Marymount President Lucas Lamadrid, who is credited with the program idea, in a statement. “And our graduates who participate in the My Marymount Mini will have a reliable and cool car that’s fully paid for to drive to their first job after college.”

The dealership involved wants 100 freshmen to sign up this year. Marymount California University enrolls approximately 1,100 students. It lists tuition of $34,134 for full-time students this academic year.

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