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FAFSA Day Massachusetts
Senator Elizabeth Warren kicks off FAFSA Day in Charlestown

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"Higher education has a long and fraught relationship with the labor market," Kevin Carey, director of the education-policy program at the New America Foundation, writes in a Chronicle of Higher Education commentary.

"A state’s rights decision Tuesday by the United States Supreme Court may further impede the ability of racial minorities to attend state-supported colleges and universities in Michigan and six other states, yet does not change the court’s overall position that the use of race is still a valid consideration in other states for devising admissions strategies. The ruling was ... widely criticized by progressives and leaders of numerous higher education advocacy groups," Diverse: Issues In Higher Education reports.

"If you have student loans, chances are you wish there was a way to make them disappear. And in a way, there is: The federal government now offers three repayment plans that lower monthly payments and will—eventually—forgive remaining debt. A separate plan forgives loans for people who take certain public-service jobs," the National Journal's The Next America reports.
"The Department of Education (ED) is planning to revise the way it evaluates student loan servicers that manage payment of direct student loans," MainStreet reports.
"As commencement season approaches, graduating students will soon hear words of wisdom from speakers offering experience, advice and inspiration. One thing they’re not likely to hear about is the $1.08 trillion elephant on the quad — our nation’s student debt crisis," Washington Post columnist Katrina van den Heuvel writes in an opinion piece.
"State cuts to higher education spending aren’t the only reason public colleges are getting more expensive. But they are, without a doubt, one of the most important reasons," Slate's Moneybox reports.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released estimates last week indicating that they expect the Pell Grant Program to be on sure financial footing through the fiscal year (FY) 2016 (award year 2016-17). However, FY 2017 (award year 2017-18) is expected to face a funding shortfall of $2.3 billion.  This represents good news in the short-term, as it means other student aid programs will not have to be cut or modified to shore up Pell funding. The long-term fiscal health of the program is less stable, according to the CBO, which projects a cumulative shortfall of $38 billion over the next 10 years.
News broke recently of a wide-reaching security vulnerability known as the Heartbleed bug. Heartbleed affects OpenSSL, used by a majority of the web to securely send data. In short, NASFAA member data is safe from Heartbleed.
"For students who borrow on the private market to pay for school, the death of a parent can come with an unexpected, added blow, a federal watchdog warns. Even borrowers who have good payment records can face sudden demands for full, early repayment of those loans, and can be forced into default," according to The New York Times.
"Decision time is here.  In 10 days, it will be May 1st,, a day that is significant to hundreds of thousands of college applicants for two reasons: it’s the day applicants are required to send in their deposit to the college of their choice to keep their place and it’s the last day to receive a refund from most schools if a student has made a deposit but changed his or her mind," Lucie Lapovsky writes in a Forbes opinion piece.
"Slate’s Jordan Weissmann, whose work I normally enjoy, has written a column analyzing something that does not exist — namely, the 'profits' earned by the federal government on student loans," Reihan Salam writes in the National Review Online's The Agenda.
"Student loans are one of the top ways that students pay for college. It’s become a fact of life in the American higher education system, but most borrowers don’t understand the risks," Robert Farrington writes in a Forbes opinion piece.
"A scaled-back version of a measure to upend Colorado's higher education funding that intended to allow legislators to tie performance to support passed out of the House Monday with more control back in the hands of educators," The Denver Post reports.
"If you trust the government’s accounting (which some don’t), the Department of Education is slated to make almost $150 billion over the next 10 years from new direct student lending, before administrative costs. About three-quarters of those profits will come from grad schoolers, even though they only borrow about one-third of all federal loan dollars," Jordan Weissman writes for Slate.
"Government officials are trying to rein in increasingly popular federal programs that forgive some student debt, amid rising concerns over the plans' costs and the possibility they could encourage colleges to push tuition even higher," The Wall Street Journal reports.
 
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