Category Archives: Student Aid

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UMUC to Offer Federal Employees a Tuition Discount

To deal with skills gaps in the federal government, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has formed a partnership with the University of Maryland University College to offer discounted tuition for federal employees and their families.

The agreement will give those employees living outside Maryland a 25-percent discount on tuition. UMUC’s current out-of-state tuition rates are $499 per undergraduate credit hour and $659 per credit hour for graduate programs before the discount.

UMUC will be wo…

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New Data Shed Light on Use of PLUS Loans and Controversial Loan Denials

Washington — Colleges that have complained that the U.S. Department of Education has been too strict in denying PLUS loans to their students now have a little better picture of the reason for those denials. And policy advocates who say the rules still allow overborrowing by students and families who may not be able to repay the loans may have some new talking points, too.

Data released by the department on Wednesday show that nearly 70 percent of all PLUS-loan applications initially rejected in …

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U. of North Texas Offers Fixed-Rate Tuition, With a Twist

Many colleges have fixed-rate tuition plans that lock in a student’s course costs for four years. In Texas that kind of policy is now a requirement for public colleges and universities.

But not all undergraduate students graduate in four years, adding to the time and cost it takes to earn a degree. The University of North Texas has come up with a plan that offers both fixed-rate tuition and an incentive for students to finish their degrees on time.

The “Eagle Express” plan, as it is being called…

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Another Report Describes Shrinking Amount of State Money for Higher Ed

While increased federal spending for higher education faces an uphill battle in Congress, pressure is mounting from Democrats in Washington, D.C., to raise state appropriations for higher education.

A report released on Thursday by the liberal-leaning group Demos is just the latest to detail the growing cost of tuition at public colleges, along with the shrinking amount of money that state governments provide to those institutions.

Per-student state spending on public higher education shrank nea…

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$125-Million Bequest Swells U. of the Pacific’s Endowment

The University of the Pacific announced on Thursday that it had received a $125-million bequest that increased the size of its endowment by 59 percent and would allow it to plow more money into scholarships.

In a 2007 announcement of the donor’s intentions, the university estimated the bequest would be worth $100-million, but it said on Wednesday that the size of the gift had swollen by a quarter over the past six years.

The donors were Robert C. and Jeannette Powell, both of whom served as rege…

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Diversity Aside, International Students Bring a Financial Incentive

As college campuses face financial uncertainty and tough enrollment seasons, it’s no secret that attracting more international students can yield benefits beyond the intangibles, like a more diverse student body.

A recent Chronicle survey of 436 small private institutions and state universities shows that colleges that enrolled more international students also were more likely to meet enrollment and net-tuition-revenue goals.

For example, among the private institutions in the survey that met or …

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U.S. Income-Based Repayment Plan May Be the ‘Best Deal’ for Borrowers

Washington — Two panel discussions here on Friday, hosted by the New America Foundation, delved into some of the new ways being proposed to ameliorate the thorny problem of student-loan debt. One existing solution, the federal government’s income-based repayment plan, wasn’t mentioned until afterward, but then it received a qualified endorsement.

The first panel included entrepreneurs from organizations that use private investors’ money to pay college students’ costs of attendance in return for …

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Harvard U. Announces a $6.5-Billion Campaign

Harvard University announced on Saturday that it had begun a new campaign to raise $6.5-billion by 2018.

Money gathered by the Harvard Campaign will go to support a broad spectrum of activities at the university, with about 45 percent of the money earmarked for teaching and research, about 25 percent for financial aid and other student-oriented expenditures, and about 20 percent for construction projects, including an expansion of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and work on Harvar…

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Adrian College Promises to Pay Student Loans for Some Graduates

A small private college in Michigan is trying to ease the cost concerns of prospective students with a guarantee that they won’t graduate overburdened with student-loan debt. Starting next year, Adrian College will guarantee incoming students that if, upon graduation, they are employed and earning less than $37,500 a year, the college will make some or all of their student-loan payments.

The plan calls for Adrian graduates who earn less than $20,000 a year after graduation to have all of their s…

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Indiana U. Alumni Group Provides Support for GLBT Students

Indiana University announced on Tuesday that its Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Alumni Association was elevating its existing scholarship fund for GLBT students to “campaign” level with the help of an anonymous $500,000 challenge gift.

“This scholarship campaign will help us recruit and educate future leaders,” Lauren Robel, the university’s executive vice president, said in a statement announcing the effort, which is being kicked off with more than $200,000 in cash and pledges.

Since 2…