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December 19, 2012, 8:56 pm
Washington — Legislation introduced in Congress this week that would overhaul the federal student-loan programs by changing how interest rates are set and how borrowers repay their loans is getting mixed reviews from student-aid advocates.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Thomas E. Petri, a Wisconsin Republican, is unlikely to progress through Congress anytime soon, but the proposal could be debated as part of the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which would happen next year at the earliest.
Under the proposal, borrowers’ monthly payments would be capped at 15 percent of their discretionary income, and the money would be withdrawn directly from their paychecks until their loan was paid off. Also, the interest that accrues on a loan would be capped at 50 percent of its original balance.
The proposal would end most of the government’s current loan-forgiveness…
December 7, 2012, 5:27 pm
If negotiations in Washington to avoid a “fiscal cliff” come down to a choice between cutting spending on defense or education, a majority of Americans would spare the education programs, according to the results of a poll released on Friday.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents to the poll said cuts should come from defense spending, compared with 43 percent who supported cutting education programs.
Among federal education programs, a majority of respondents said it was “very important” for Congress to protect from automatic cuts special-education programs for children with disabilities (57 percent) and grants to attend college (53 percent). Funds for universities to conduct scientific research, which higher-education advocates have said would be devastated by the automatic cuts, ranked much lower, at 30 percent.
The poll also found that respondents significantly…
December 4, 2012, 5:50 pm
Higher-education advocates are closely watching how the current fiscal negotiations in Washington will affect federal support of colleges and universities.
But many are also concerned that a change in tax policy would affect an important private source of revenue to the industry: philanthropic giving, which topped $30-billion at American colleges and universities in 2011, according to the Council for Aid to Education.
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have said that limiting tax deductions, including the one for charitable giving, should be part of a compromise deficit-reduction deal to avoid sending the federal budget over a “fiscal cliff.”
Changes in the charitable-giving deduction, which allows tax filers who itemize their deductions to receive a tax break for donating to qualified nonprofit organizations, have previously been proposed as a way to increase …
November 30, 2012, 4:58 am
A nonprofit foundation has established a scholarship program with an unusually narrow purpose: helping student-veterans who say they were defrauded or misled by for-profit colleges.
The Veterans’ Student Loan Relief Fund, a project of the Kisco Foundation, is currently accepting applications for its second round of awards. The fund provides grants of up to $5,000 to student-veterans who used their military educational benefits to attend a for-profit college and are now experiencing financial hardship as a result.
The Kisco Foundation is a philanthropic endeavor of Jerome Kohlberg Jr., a retired Wall Street businessman and billionaire who attended college on the original GI Bill after returning from military service in World War II.
In order to qualify for the scholarship, a student-veteran must owe student-loan debt, have exhausted all of his or her military educational…