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Chronology of Coverage

Aug. 25, 2015

Op-Ed article by Steven J Harper reflects on American Bar Assn report regarding high number of law school graduates at time when there are very few long-term jobs available to lawyers; questions report' s assertion that the market will correct unsustainable law school revenue system and argues that student loan availability should be tied to a school's employment record; urges association to propose serious solution. MORE

Aug. 14, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton's ambitious $350 billion plan to cut higher education debt is opening new front in 2016 presidential campaign, and putting pressure on her opponents; both Republican and Democratic candidates are responding to Clinton's proposal by outlining their own plans to reduce student debt and cut soaring college costs. MORE

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton will unveil ambition plan to address ballooning student loan debt; plan will include new refinancing options and will cost some $350 billion over ten years, price that Clinton intends to offset by increasing taxes on wealthy families; states will be given $175 billion in grants to help resident students pay tuition at public universities and colleges in lieu of taking out loans. MORE

Editorial welcomes federal decision upholding new Obama administration rules that deny federal aid to fraudulent for-profit schools; warns that Congressional Republicans are moving to block enforcement of rules, move that would endanger students nationwide; cites range of data illustrating damage wrought by predatory schools, noting that they account for 99 percent of programs that fail under new rules. MORE

Ron Lieber Your Money column warns of the long-lasting consequences of defaulting on student loans and remaining in debt; cites steps suggested by Lee Siegel, whose recent New York Times opinion article extolled the benefits of defaulting, and finds flaws with each one. MORE

Mark Bittman Op-Ed column warns number of American farmers is likely to decline at accelerated pace as fewer young people enter profession; points out high cost of land remains chief obstacle; praises bill that would forgive student loans to young farmers, but contends only land redistribution will shore up real agriculture and combat megafarmers who have overtaken the industry. MORE

Education Dept announces plan to forgive federal student loans for tens of thousands who attended Corinthian Colleges, for-profit company that has been subject of numerous investigations and lawsuits and recently closed with little warning; plan could cost taxpayers billions of dollars, depending on how many former students apply for relief. MORE

Op-Ed article by Lee Siegel describes reasons why he defaulted on his student loans, and suggests that those who face similar financial burden should consider doing the same; questions morality of higher education system in which prohibitively high tuition rates are threatening social mobility in American society. MORE

Ann Carrns Your Money Adviser offers experts' tips for paying off student loans, starting with knowing when first payment is due. MORE

Brian McFadden The Strip comic pokes fun at varied news items that call upon notion of blind faith, including student loans, Pres Obama and Trans-Pacific Partnership, climate change and offshore drilling, Iraq War and Bush family, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. MORE

Former and current Corinthian Colleges students are pressing Education Dept to forgive their student debt, saying schools used false graduation and placement statistics to lure then into taking on huge loans; attempt could cost department, and taxpayers, millions of dollars, bringing up questions about department's duo role as lender and collector of federal student loans. MORE

Ron Lieber Your Money column contends too many families are bereft of knowledge about student loans; lists highlights of what past student borrowers would have families and schools learn and do. MORE

Ron Lieber Your Money column examines problematic findings of nonprofit group TG's examination of online modules supplied by federal Education Dept to give college students counseling regarding taking out student loans; notes that TG's findings about failings of modules were echoed by financial aid officers, who by and large knew that students were not learning anything. MORE

Editorial supports effort by attorneys general from nine states to convince Education Dept to forgive federal student loans of people hurt by deceptive tactics of for-profit colleges; contends 2014 federal investigation into predatory practices by Corinthian Colleges points to larger problem surrounding for-profit schools nationwide; holds relief for students duped into paying for useless degrees from such schools is overdue. MORE

Editorial welcomes Education Dept's decision to release partial list of colleges and universities that are under student-aid restrictions due to concerns about their finances; argues agency nonetheless has done disservice through failure to release names of all such institutions, majority of which are for-profit; calls for greater transparency within department. MORE

Your Money columnist Ron Lieber relates how advice from financial aid expert Roger Koester helped him and his family tackle the daunting prospect of paying for college. MORE

The Upshot; Susan Dynarski Economic View Column explores situation in which Education Dept refuses to let any outside agencies to review roughly $1 trillion portfolio of student loans, many of which appear troubled; argues that without further details, it is impossible to quantify risks born by taxpayers. MORE

Government Accountability Office reports student debt accumulated by Americans 65 and older has grown to about $18.2 billion in 2013, from about $2.8 billion in 2005; while some of that can be attributed to co-signing loans for children and grandchildren, good measure of it is for continuing education; experts offer ways for adult college students to manage debt. MORE

Pres Obama signs directive intended to help students cope with growing student loan debt by requiring federal agencies involved in distribution of student aid to strengthen consumer protection and information disclosure around loans. MORE

Op-Ed article by documentary filmmaker Astra Taylor applauds group known as Corinthian 15 for refusing to pay back student debt incurred at collapsed for-profit Corinthian Colleges; contends such actions are needed to change predatory lending tactics; calls on federal government to enact full-scale debt cancellation and reinstate public, tuition-free education; holds action may result in foregone revenue in short term but it will ultimately be better for nation's economic health. MORE

Op-Ed article by lawyer Steve Cohen suggests that college-based tuition deferment could be solution to soaring cost of college; notes that in such a plan the college would have to borrow capital, which would be cheaper for the school than it currently is for students to take out loans; argues that incentive for colleges to adopt such plans is that it is in their self-interest to hang on to their middle-class customers. MORE

Op-Ed article by centrist policy experts Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler states that federal government is not demanding enough from colleges in return for financial aid; holds that, among other requirements, universities should improve teacher performances, release statistics regarding alumni successes and graduation rates and take on more responsibility for student-loan defaults. MORE

The Upshot; little-noticed legislative modifications made by Pres George W Bush in 2007 and Pres Obama in 2010 have set in motion changes that could revolutionize the market for student loans and alleviate crippling $1.1 trillion debt burden on students; move away from private loans and toward Income-Based Repayment model could push payments in line with borrowers' income, leveling proportional effect

of recessions and business cycles. MORE

New York Gov Andrew M Cuomo will introduce legislation aimed at easing student loan burden of thousands of college graduates; proposal stipulates that state cover two years of loan payments for graduates of New York State colleges who earn less than $50,000 a year. MORE

Obama administration will release report previewing its planned system for rating performance by colleges on aspects that include admissions standards, affordability, how student loans are handled, and how well students fare in finding jobs; Education Dept concedes project has been dauntingly complex, and remains hampered by limited availability of data; number of colleges have raised criticisms of system. MORE

Three studies, including those by Institute for College Access and Success and College Board, find real costs of college and student borrowing have leveled off, after years of sharp increases in college prices and student debt; it is unclear whether changes mark start of shift toward easing of price increases or just temporary pause. MORE

Editorial examines plight of those struggling to keep up with private student loan payments; notes that they lack deferred payment options and other hardship clauses that come with federal loans; observes that federal regulators have struggled to effect change amid mounting consumer complaints; calls on Congress to step in and force private lenders to offer modified payment schedules. MORE

Editorial contends federal student loan default data released by Education Dept underscores need for government to continue pressing both schools and loan servicing companies to educate students on plans that can keep them out of default; calls on government to crack down on predatory student loan practices, particularly at for-profit schools. MORE

Education Department reports defaults on federal student loans declined in 2013 to 13.7 percent, from 14.7 percent in 2012; it is first drop in default rate in years, but 21 schools still have rates so high that they could be barred from federal loan and grant programs. MORE

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sues major for-profit trade school chain Corinthian Colleges, charging that it lured students with lies about job placement and used illegal tactics to collect on student loans. MORE

Retiring column; Federal Reserve Bank of New York data shows that an estimated two million Americans 60 and older are in debt from unpaid student loans, up substantially at $43 billion, from $8 billion in 2005; money is being deducted from Social Security payments to almost 140,000 individuals to pay outstanding loans. MORE

Editorial approves of Education Dept's new rules governing student loan servicers but say they do not go far enough to overhaul service system; outlines ways department can improve competition and transparency in the industry. MORE

Ann Carrns Your Money Adviser column on revised federal rules now in effect that should make it easier to return student loans in default to good standing; new rules will help define what are 'reasonable and affordable' monthly payments, aiming to get troubled loans back on track. MORE

Editorial supports federal rules that penalize colleges for excessive student loan defaults; holds that rules offer powerful incentive for schools to educate students on complexities of federal student loan program and provide protection for both students and taxpayers; maintains that default levels are heavily influenced by quality of academic support, more so than students' socioeconomic bracket. MORE

The debt settlement industry, already accused of questionable tactics related to mortgages, is finding a gold mine of new clients among those with college loans. MORE

Gretchen Morgenson Fair Game column contends that in downfall of for-profit education company Corinthian Colleges, taxpayers and student borrowers will again pay for regulatory lapses; asserts that something about regulatory construct needs to change. MORE

Lisa Prevost Mortgages column examines whether swelling student debt is a primary factor in the declining homeownership rate among 25-to 34-year olds; graph of mortgage rates in New York region. MORE

Floyd Norris High & Low Finance column investigates Corinthian Colleges, operator of for-profit schools across country that have continued to benefit from federal funding and loans despite pattern of fraud that has left it on brink of bankruptcy; argues that government should stick to its guns in cracking down on colleges that put students deeply in debt only to gain useless educations. MORE

David Leonhardt The Upshot column; Brookings Institution report says share of income that young adults are devoting to loan repayment has remained fairly steady over last two decades; only 7 percent of young-adult households with education debt have $50,000 or more of it. MORE

The Upshot column; federal government's Pay as You Earn program, commonly called PAYE, saves money mostly for low-income student-loan-burdened recent college graduates who have incurred an unusually big federal debt; Pres Obama's executive order to revise program caps monthly loan payments at 10 percent of discretionary income. MORE

Adam Davidson article notes that one in five Americans in their 20s and early 30s lives with his or her parents, and 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them; contends that recession was only part of so-called boomerang generation's problem, and that plight of young people is part of trend that has been growing stealthily for more than 30 years; warns that shift is not a temporary phenomenon. MORE

The Upshot; Susan Dynarski Economic View column welcomes executive order signed by Pres Obama that will ease debt burden on millions of American students, but argues that it does not go far enough; suggests that to adequately insure students against the risk of investing in college, government should allow student-loan payments to rise and fall with their income. MORE

Ron Lieber Your Money column; Pres Obama's ordered changes to federal student loan program could help millions of borrowers make payments more affordable starting in 2015; Americans often have to prioritize repaying debt or saving for home buying, college for their own children, or retirement; changes could put hundreds of thousands of dollars back in their pockets and release them from life-long burden of debt. MORE

Editorial praises Pres Obama for signing executive order providing relief to millions of struggling student loan borrowers and urging Congress to pass student loan refinancing bill; contends both order and bill speak to grave problem that has trapped recent college graduates and threatens long-term health of the economy; calls on Congress to reconfigure student aid system. MORE

Pres Obama signs executive order intended to lessen the college loan burden on nearly five million younger Americans by capping repayments at 10 percent of the borrowers' monthly income; Obama’s executive actions coincide with the introduction of a Senate measure that would allow 25 million borrowers to refinance student loans at lower interest rates by adding a tax on the wealthy. MORE

Jun. 8, 2014

Pres Obama will take executive actions to ease the burden of college loan debt for potentially millions of Americans; economists say borrowers' debt load is growing and retarding ability to buy homes, start businesses or otherwise spend to spur economy. MORE

Soaring student loan debt is making move to New York City for young people even less sensible; education debt has tripled, reaching over $1 trillion; record number of college students are graduating knee deep in a financial hole before they begin their adult lives. MORE

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