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Low-income Students

New Income-Driven Repayment Plan Now Available for ALL Federal Direct Student Loan Borrowers: REPAYE

Starting today, all borrowers with federal Direct student loans have access to a new repayment plan with monthly payments limited to 10% of your discretionary income. You can enroll regardless of when you borrowed. If you’re having trouble affording your monthly payments – or just want the assurance of payments based on your income – check out the Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) plan and see if it’s right for you.

Form and Formula: How the Federal Government Distributes Aid to Students

Form and Formula: How the Federal Government Distributes Aid to Students explains the history of need analysis—the method used to determine the amount of federal aid a student receives—and the method of collecting financial data from students and families.

We All Deserve to Know Grad Rates for Pell Students

Like many students, my college decision was based largely on the price I would have to pay — tuition, financial aid, and in-state vs. out-of-state costs all had an influence. However, there was one other factor I should have paid close attention to — one that would have solidified for me and my mother whether my investment was a sound decision — and that is graduation rates for Pell Grant recipients.

 

Corinthian Colleges Ordered to Pay Damages to Students

Federal consumer regulators on Wednesday won a major court battle against Corinthian Colleges Inc., the former national for-profit chain that entered bankruptcy this year amid claims of defrauding students.

A federal judge in Illinois ruled that Corinthian “engaged in deceptive practices” by misleading students about their career prospects, according to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal. 

How Best To Serve Pell Students? These Colleges Know How

The Pell Partnership, our latest report, has been noted for “debunk[ing] the notion that Pell grants are somehow being wasted.” And it’s true. Quite a few colleges and universities across the country are serving low-income students well — that is, they are graduating them at the same rates as (or in some cases, even better than) their peers from high-income families.

We spoke with nearly a dozen of these schools to learn more about how they recruit, support (academically and financially), and otherwise ensure low-income students a fair chance at a postsecondary degree.

Many Colleges Aren’t Doing Enough to Fulfill the Promise of the Pell Grant Program

Several recent reports have estimated a significant gap in the college completion rates of the low-income students who receive federal Pell Grants and other college students, leading some to question the effectiveness of this investment of taxpayer dollars. But, according to a new report and online data tool we’re releasing today, the average graduation gap between Pell and non-Pell students at the institutional level is much smaller: only 5.7 percentage points.

Finally, Help for Pell Students at Closed Campuses

When colleges shutter their campuses, who’s harmed the most? Students are, especially low-income students. They are the ones with the least protection. That’s why it was so refreshing to see Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) stand up for them by introducing the “Pell Restoration Act of 2015,” which will allow Pell Grant recipients the ability to continue their education at another institution.

The Impact of Student Employment on College Completion

See how holding down a job can negatively impact Pell students' chances of graduating.

Setting the Record Straight on Pell

Since Hechinger Report released its analysis on the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients, some people have called the effectiveness of the Pell Grant program into question. Lost in those arguments, though, are three crucial points about the program:

Young Invincibles’ #MillennialMon Twitter Chat

Did you see Young Invincibles’ #MillennialMon Twitter chat on Solving the Student Debt Issue?

Pell Grants Provide Access; Institutions Must Support Completion

The Hechinger Report just published an article on the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients at 82 of the largest public and private institutions in the nation. Considering nearly 9 million low-income students receive Pell Grants annually, it’s a topic that we care deeply about. In fact, we’ve spent the last year collecting and analyzing the graduation rates of these very students. And, in a few weeks, we’ll share what we found.

So How Did Financial Aid Come About?

Recently we shared two of the films in a series produced by the Lumina Foundation and the Institute for Higher Education Policy. The series — Looking Back to Move Forward: A History of Federal Student Aid — provides insight into the evolution of financial aid through first-hand experiences with the policymaking process.

It’s not too late to share your #studentdebtstress story

In May, we asked you to tell us your #StudentDebtStress story by July 13th. It’s not too late to share your story.

Over 40 million Americans are working to repay more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

Some borrowers have already shared with us their experiences with their student loan servicer (the company that sends a bill each month). We’ve released the first batch of your stories and we encourage you to take a look at what we’re hearing from the public at regulations.gov.

Congress Is Creating Conditions for Another Corinthian Scandal

Corinthian Colleges has become the poster child for what’s wrong with the for-profit college industry. It misrepresented its job placement — the eligibility criteria for it to receive federal funds — and abruptly closed its doors when the federal government demanded some accountability.

The immediate victims of this business’ collapse are the thousands of students left with debt, worthless degrees, or both. The secondary victims are taxpayers.

A Plan for Making College Affordable

If you’ve been following #highered on social media lately, you may have noticed that college affordability and student loan debt are attracting attention of the 2016 presidential contenders. Many candidates harp on colleges to lower costs and on states to increase their funding, but any solution to making college more affordable needs to do more...

For Corinthian Colleges Students: What You Need to Know about Debt Relief

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Education announced new steps to protect students from abusive for-profit colleges, as well as a new debt relief process for students at Corinthian Colleges – which operated schools under the names Everest, Heald, and Wyotech.

Information for borrowers is available at the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website...

What I Didn’t Know About Choosing a College

When I was a high school senior (many moons ago), I thought I was well-equipped to make the best college choice for me. I had read the brochures (Google wasn’t a thing back then); talked with my school counselor as well as friends and family; and visited campuses to check things out in person. After doing all of that and receiving acceptance letters and financial aid packages, I made a decision...

An Updated College Results Online = More Data for You

College Results Online has been updated with the most recent data from the federal government (2012-13), giving you even more information to compare in this one-stop shop tool. At CollegeResults.org — now in its 10th year of compiling and sharing critical information on colleges across the country — you can select nearly any four-year college or university and compare its graduation rate with that of similar institutions serving similar students.

The Lumina Foundation’s “Where Financial Aid Began: Partnering with Campuses and States”

The last time we checked in, we shared Part 3 of the Lumina Foundation and Institute for Higher Education Policy’s Looking Back to Move Forward: A History of Federal Student Aid. It’s a great documentary series on the evolution of federal student aid. 

CFPB Public Hearing on Student Debt

If you live in Milwaukee or plan to be there this week, consider joining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a public hearing on student debt this Thursday. 

Reminder: What happens to your student loans if your school is shut down

When you’re told that your college will be shutting down, there can be a lot of uncertainty about what comes next. In light of recent closures of certain for-profit colleges, we wanted to share some helpful advice to help you navigate the situation.

Working Toward a Fresh Start for Corinthian Students

Imagine this: You’re 24, have your high school diploma, and have been working in a low-wage job for six years when you see an advertisement for a new career training program at a local, for-profit university. The ad promises to teach the latest, cutting-edge skills that will guarantee you a high-paying career...

A Must-See: The Lumina Foundation’s “A History of Federal Student Aid”

Have you seen The Lumina Foundation and the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s film series, Looking Back to Move Forward: A History of Federal Student Aid? The four-part series provides insight into the evolution of federal student aid over the last 60 years.

Pell Grants have helped millions of students from low-income families attend college. But you’ll be surprised to see the struggle that the program had to go through to become what it is today.

‘Moving on up’ Like George and Weezy Jefferson: A College Degree and the American Dream

The blog was originally posted on The Equity Line

 

If you work hard and follow the rules, you too can “move on up” from a working class neighborhood in Queens to a deluxe apartment in the skyline of Manhattan’s Eastside, just like The Jeffersons.

At least that’s how the story goes.

But findings from a new report show that story is unlikely

First Come, Last Served

University Does Not Do Enough to Accommodate First-Generation Students

This blog was cross-posted from The Chicago Maroon, by Lynda Lopez

Recently, UChicago has shown an increased commitment to recruiting low-income students through initiatives such as QuestBridge and UChicago Promise. Fifty-one students in the Class of 2018 received full four-year scholarships through QuestBridge, the highest among all 35 partner colleges; 73 students in the Class of 2017 benefited from UChicago Promise, which includes a guarantee of no loans for Chicago residents who attended Chicago high schools and are admitted to the College.

All these initiatives are great, but what happens after these students arrive on campus? Many of them are also first-generation, meaning they are the first in their families to attend college.

Being a low-income, first-generation college student can be like jumping into a pool without knowing how to swim. As the daughter of immigrants with no college graduates in my family, I didn’t have a good idea of what to do once I was here. I didn’t know how to ask professors or TAs for help or how to pick the right classes. Everything was foreign to me.