financial aid

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Harvard Dad Faces Prison Over Bogus Financial Aid

He admits submitting fake records that earned $160K in Ivy League assistance

(Newser) - All kinds of advice is available for parents struggling with their kids' gigantic tuition bills, and now comes a lesson in what not to do: Submit phony financial records. Joseph Fonge of Massachusetts has admitted doing so when his daughter was accepted at Harvard, and the bogus documents earned her... More »

Obama's College Plan Is Smart, but Maybe Doomed

Congress would have to go along with ranking system: Jordan Weissmann

(Newser) - President Obama's plan to ease the student debt problem is "simple, powerful, and long overdue," writes Jordan Weissmann at the Atlantic . It's also probably doomed. As he spelled out yesterday , Obama wants to help students figure out which schools give them the best value, factoring in... More »

Obama Wants to Shift Aid to Affordable Colleges

New plan would rate schools on value, and reward the good ones

(Newser) - Barack Obama will today unveil an ambitious plan designed to steer students to colleges that provide decent value for their tuition dollars. Under a draft proposal obtained by the New York Times , the government would rate schools based on tuition, graduation rates, graduates' debt and earnings, and low-income student acceptance.... More »

Feds Flag 126K in Student Loan Fraud Crackdown

$829M in Pell grants were 'improper payments' last year

(Newser) - Some $829 million in "improper payments," including those involving fraud and clerical errors, went out to Pell grant recipients over the fiscal year that ended in September. Though that's a smaller figure than in the previous two years, it's up 86% from 2007—and the US... More »

Top Low-Income Students Blow Off the Best Colleges

Strivers feel no connection to far-off schools

(Newser) - The majority of high-achieving, low-income students never even apply to America's top colleges—despite financial aid that could make it affordable, according to a new study. The analysis, by two education researchers, found that just 34% of successful but low-income students went to one of America's 238 best... More »

Financial Aid Letters to Students Often Mislead

ProPublica reports on problems with the college letters

(Newser) - One more reason the student-loan problem is such a mess: The letters that college students receive spelling out financial aid often leaves them confused or flat-out misled about whether the money is coming from scholarships, grants, or loans, reports ProPublica . Schools also tend to push easy-to-get "Parent Plus" loans... More »

Donors Offer $16B in Afghan Aid

But this time, there's strings attached

(Newser) - International donors pledged a total of $16 billion in development aid through 2015 to Afghanistan at a conference in Tokyo yesterday. The funding is intended to help steady Afghanistan during the NATO pullout but major donors, including the US, Japan, and Germany, stressed that the aid would be tied to... More »

Calif. Dream Act Takes Another Step

College aid for illegals passes panel, heads to legislature

(Newser) - A California state Senate panel has approved a measure that would allow illegal immigrant college students to receive public aid. The panel’s approval of the bill, the second part of a pair of bills known as the California Dream Act, means the measure will head to the full Senate... More »

College Tuition Skyrockets Again

Students lean more on government to afford school

(Newser) - College tuition headed north yet again this fall, forcing students and their families to lean more on the federal government to get by. Thanks to punishing state budget cuts, the average four-year public school tuition leaped 7.9% to $7,605, according to the College Board, while private nonprofit colleges... More »

Feds to Streamline Infamous Financial Aid Form

Government hopes trimming FAFSA will get more aid to those who need it

(Newser) - The White House today will unveil its plan to make it easier for students to get federal aid by cutting the fiendishly complex application down to size, the New York Times reports. The FAFSA—Free Application for Federal Student Aid—is notorious for being harder to fill out than a... More »

Fall Enrollment Defies Economy

Freshman commitments hold steady, but at a cost of increased financial aid

(Newser) - Despite the recession, colleges aren't seeing the dip in freshman commitments they anticipated, reports the New York Times. The percentage of accepted students who have confirmed their enrollment at places like Yale, Harvard, and the University of Virginia and Wisconsin is about the same as last year. But it hasn't... More »

Rich Kids Get Leg Up at Cash- Strapped Schools

Admissions staff skirts need-blind rules

(Newser) - Endowments are shrinking, and kids are needing more aid—so many colleges are reluctantly giving an admissions boost to students who can pay in full, the New York Times reports. Schools are finding ways to let in more wealthy students without sacrificing "need-blind" labels: by admitting more foreign students,... More »

Obama to Push Merit Pay for Teachers in Schools Plan

Prez to push teacher merit pay, lower dropout rates

(Newser) - In a speech today before the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, President Obama will lay out his plan for American schools, reports the Wall Street Journal. Most controversially, the president aims to expand merit pay for teachers, a measure that Democratic teacher unions are traditionally leery of. If teachers develop... More »

Creator of Pell Grants Dead at 90

(Newser) - Claiborne Pell, the quirky blueblood who represented blue-collar Rhode Island in the Senate for 36 years and was the force behind a grant program that has helped tens of millions of Americans attend college, died today of Parkinson's disease. He was 90. Pell sponsored legislation creating the Basic Educational Opportunity... More »

More Students Are Seeking Financial Aid

16% jump in requests for tuition help as economy slumps

(Newser) - A soaring number of students are requesting financial aid as a result of the country’s economic downturn, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Some 8.9 million students filed for federal aid in the first half of this year—up 16.3% from last year. Many public universities are struggling... More »

Textbook Revolution? Free and Paperless

Pilot project offers hundreds of undergraduates content at no charge

(Newser) - The hefty cost of university textbooks now averages $900 per student each year, and financial aid can't be counted on to cover the expense. But starting in September, one publisher will be offering its textbooks online—for free, Time reports. "Nobody's satisfied with the status quo," said the... More »

McCain Pitches 'Gas Tax Holiday,' Drug, Pork Limits

Candidate lays out slate of economic initiatives

(Newser) - John McCain used a tax day appearance to propose a summer “gas tax holiday,” calling his plan to suspend the 18-cent levy “an immediate economic stimulus.” Among other economic initiatives the candidate outlined today were upping prescription drug premiums for wealthy retirees, declaring a moratorium on... More »

Ivy Aid May Hit 2nd-Tier Schools

Big scholarships could siphon top students who couldn't afford Harvard

(Newser) - It’s easy to applaud the generosity the Ivy League is lavishing on the middle class, but it could have unintended consequences, Newsweek notes. Second-tier schools and elite public universities rely on the highly talented middle-class kids Harvard and company are targeting. “Schools compete hard for those students,”... More »

Stanford Drops Tuition for Lower-Income Students

Families earning less than $100K get break

(Newser) - Tapping into its $17 billion endowment to boost financial aid, Stanford University said yesterday it will now offer free tuition—that's a $36,000 a year value—to students from families making less than $100,000 per year. Students from families that earn less than $60,000 won't have to... More »

Prep Schools' Endowments Skyrocket

Institutions aim to fund needy students, top-notch facilities

(Newser) - Endowments at the nation’s elite prep schools have exploded over the past decade, mirroring the trend at top colleges, reports the New York Times. America’s older schools have fared best: the endowment of Phillips Exeter Academy in NH has broken $1 billion, double its amount in 2002, while... More »

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