College News Collage: New Student Borrower Advocate

Updated on February 20, 2024
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Early last week, President Trump sparked controversy with his appointment of Robert G. Cameron, a former top official at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), as the student loan ombudsman for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The position is charged with protecting the interests of student borrowers. PHEAA was sued in 2017 for mishandling TEACH Grants and the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program by causing borrowers to lose out on financial assistance.

Trump also made news with an order to forgive student loans for disabled veterans. The order comes after 53 attorneys general sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos criticizing the Trump administration's handling of student loan debt forgiveness for veterans. Canceling student debt has been a hot-button issue; Mikael Mulugeta explored its potential impacts in an article earlier this month.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley also entered into the higher education conversation late last month by proposing legislation that would make short-term vocational schools eligible to receive Pell Grants, which are federal grants targeted at low-income students. Many alternatives to four-year schools, including associate and certificate programs, are already eligible for Pell Grants.


College Recruiters Aggressively Go After Out-of-State Students

USA Today released its database information on college recruitment strategies, which revealed that colleges are targeting out-of-state students more aggressively than in-state students. Tennessee State University, for example, increased out-of-state enrollment by 41% between 2012 and 2017. Public colleges often charge much higher tuition for out-of-state students.

Are You Using the Right College Savings Plan?

There are a variety of options when it comes to saving for college, and many consumers are confused about the differences. Forbes recently published an explanation of the difference between "prepaid" and "savings" 259 plans, outlining how parents and future students can make smarter savings investments.

What Happens If You Stop Paying Back Student Loans? Nothing Good.

Many student borrowers don't know what they're signing on for when they take on student loans. To help, Business Insider recently published a detailed article highlighting the consequences of a defaulted student loan, which can include wage garnishment. It also offers suggestions for how to defer or forbear your student loans. For advice on financing your college career, check out Mikael Mulugeta's resource for finding college scholarships.

The 10 Highest-Paying College Majors of 2019, According to PayScale

PayScale, the career salary aggregator company, recently released its annual College Salary Report for 2019. According to this data, the highest-paying bachelor's degree subjects are petroleum engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, and applied economics and management.

College Life

When College Dormitories Become Health Hazards

Despite rising tuition, colleges are having funding problems; in some places, student housing is suffering for it. The New York Times reports that students living in dorms at some universities have encountered problems with flooding, leaking, heating or cooling, vermin, and black mold, which can lead to long-term health problems.

A New Partnership Tackles College Students' Housing and Food Insecurities

Housing and food insecurity is a rising concern among college students, and organizations are springing up to address the issue. Forbes highlighted one of these organizations — Starfish Project Hope — which uses data analysis to identify students struggling financially and connect them with resources.

How to Combat the Rising Cost of College Textbooks

It's back-to-school time, which means many college students are dealing with the sticker shock of textbook prices. Forbes recently published an article exploring why textbooks are so expensive and how you can save some of that money. For more advice, check out Jonathan W.'s cheap textbook guide.

Dorm to Table: College Start-Ups Take Aim at Food Industry

When you think of dorm-room entrepreneurs, you probably think about apps and tech start-ups, but the food industry has also seen a spike in new businesses started by college students. The New York Times reports on a few of these foodie start-ups.

Is Your Child Emotionally Ready for College?

With mental health concerns on the rise on college campuses, The Wall Street Journal explored the impact of parental interference on student readiness for college. According to a study from the American College Health Association, a third of college students received treatment at campus counseling centers in 2018. For tips on how to prepare for college life, check out Samantha Solomon's strategies for the first week on campus.

Data Is In

Study: Gender Minority Mental Health in the U.S.: Results of a National Survey on College Campuses

A study of mental health among gender minority college students published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that transgender or nonbinary students are 4.3 times more likely to suffer mental health problems than their cisgender peers. Learn more about mental health on campus from Dr. Gregg Henriques.

Study: Do Voucher Students Attain Higher Levels of Education? Extended Evidence From the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

A study out of Brown University found that students enrolled in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, which is a school voucher program that allows students to attend private school, attained higher levels of education than their peers enrolled in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Nudging Doesn't Scale Nationally

According to a study from the National Bureau for Economic Research, efforts to encourage student completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by "nudging" students with text and email reminders are less effective on a national scale than they were in more localized groups. For more about the FAFSA, check out Jonathan W.'s deadlines rundown.

The Value of an Incomplete Degree: Heterogeneity in the Labor Market Benefits of College Non-Completion

A new study published in The Journal of Higher Education revealed that students who attend but do not complete college still see benefits in the job market. The study found 35.2% employment among non-college-educated workers, compared to 50.5% among those with only 1-12 credits.

The Growing Partisan Divide in Views of Higher Education

A study from Pew Research Center revealed that 38% of adult Americans believe universities are having a negative impact on American culture — up from 26% in 2012. The decrease is largely due to Republican and Republican-leaning independents, among whom 59% believe higher education is having a negative impact. For a rundown of Democrat views on college, check out Reece Johnson's coverage of the Democratic debates.

In Other News

Historic Rise of College-Educated Women in Labor Force Changes Workplace

In 2000, women made up 45% of the college-educated workforce. Since 2013, they've accounted for 49%, and 2019 might be the first year that women make up the majority. This trend is likely to continue; since 1999, women have accounted for 57% of all bachelor's degree earners. Many employers have adjusted their benefits packages to attract female candidates, including 17% now offering health coverage for fertility services, compared to only 6% in 2015.

Glasgow University Pledges Millions for "Reparative Justice: for Slavery Ties

Three years ago, Glasgow University commissioned a report on its financial connections to slavery, and the report is in: The university benefited from nearly £200 million in gifts and bequests from people involved in the slave trade. In response, the university has committed to raising £20 million over the next 20 years to research slavery and its impacts around the world.

Court Victory for Foreign Students Enrolled in Fake College

In a sting operation targeted at fraudulent education recruiters and employers, who use student visas to illegally bring employees to the United States, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a "pay-to-stay" college, which was accredited but offered no classes or faculty. Now, foreign students who enrolled in the fake university are suing DHS to reinstate their student visas. None of the students have been criminally charged.

GitHub Adds 21 New Partners to Its Free Student Developer Pack

For college students interested in coding careers, GitHub's education program has new toys: 21 new companies have added their tools and services to its student developer pack. The pack allows students free access to premier coding technologies that they are likely to encounter in the workplace. For more about the careers of the future, including programming jobs, check out Reece Johnson's gen Z career guide.

Online Education Start-Up, Backed by Research University Credit

The founder of MasterClass, the online video education service, has a new venture: Outlier. The program offers $400 online general education courses for community college students, backed with credit from the University of Pittsburgh. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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