student loans

Most days, 25-year-old Chavonne can push her student loan debt to the back of her mind.

Between short-term office jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, she drives for Uber. But once in awhile, a debt collector will get hold of her cellphone number — the one she keeps changing to avoid them — and it all comes back fresh. "I'll be like, 'Oh no!' " she says. "It's a sad reminder that I owe somebody money!"

In April, she got another reminder when the government seized her tax refund.

All this for a degree she never finished.

Americans owe about $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. That's about twice the current budget for the Defense Department and around 22 times the budget for the Education Department.

Robert Smith encouraged graduates to "pay it forward" in his commencement speech Sunday at Morehouse College.
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Billionaire investor and

The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the Trump administration's Education Department is getting in the way of efforts to police the student loan industry. The revelation, in a letter obtained by NPR, comes at the same time that lawsuits allege that widespread wrongdoing by student loan companies is costing some borrowers thousands of dollars.

Kaylee Rodriguez / WLRN

College graduation is here. And you've probably been seeing a lot of photos of recent graduates from the class of 2019 with their caps, gowns and smiles. But what happens to South Florida graduates after they receive their diploma?

Some will continue their education into graduate school. Others are heading into the job market. Some will be staying in South Florida to build their lives and careers. And others will leave to try and find their dreams in another place. And many will be leaving with student loan debt.

Nearly 2,300 teachers have just had a mountain of student loan debt lifted off their backs, according to previously unreleased figures from the U.S. Department of Education. The move follows reporting by NPR that exposed a nightmare for public school teachers across the country.

Right now, students across the country are in the process of choosing where to go to college. For many, that decision is closely tied to a school's financial aid offer. But with no current standardization of these offers, letters look vastly different from one college to the next. They're often filled with confusing terms and jargon, and not all colleges define and calculate these terms the same way.

This time last year, McKenna Hensley had a big question on her mind: Where would she go to college? The answer — sort of — was somewhere in her pile of 10 financial aid offers. Each school she'd been admitted to had its own individualized letter, terms and calculations.

"It was very confusing," the now college freshman remembers.

Updated at 3:13 p.m. ET

A critical new report from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General finds the department's student loan unit failed to adequately supervise the companies it pays to manage the nation's trillion-dollar portfolio of federal student loans. The report also rebukes the department's office of Federal Student Aid for rarely penalizing companies that failed to follow the rules.

Updated at 1:12 p.m. ET

The federal official in charge of protecting student borrowers from predatory lending practices has stepped down.

In a scathing resignation letter, Seth Frotman, who until now was the student loan ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says current leadership "has turned its back on young people and their financial futures." The letter was addressed to Mick Mulvaney, the bureau's acting director.

In a move it said was to address the large cost of entering a career in medicine, New York University's School of Medicine said Thursday that it will offer full scholarships to all current and future students in its doctor of medicine program.

NYU said it was the "only top 10-ranked" medical school in the U.S. to offer such a generous package.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Trying to change Obama-era rules, the Trump administration is one step closer to making it more difficult for students to have loan debt wiped clean in cases involving fraud by universities.

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Courtesy of Julio Ramos

Roughly 11,300 people applied to Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago this year. They interviewed about 600 people. About 160 were accepted — the odds of getting in were less than 2 percent.

And 10 of the students they accepted are undocumented, brought to the US as children. They have DACA status, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives them a temporary work permit and a chance to become physicians.

One of them is Julio Ramos.

Imagine if one notice from the federal government could cause you to question your major life decisions.

More than half a million people may have found themselves in that situation after a new legal filing by the Education Department.

Under a program known as Public Service Loan Forgiveness, some student loan borrowers were supposed to be able to have the balance of their student loans forgiven after ten years of both on-time payments and eligible work in the public sector. Meaning, a qualifying nonprofit, federal, local, state, or tribal government.

The number of people 60 and older with student loan debt has quadrupled in the past decade, and older Americans now represent the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. student loan market, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As of 2015, more than 2.8 million Americans over 60 had outstanding student loan debt — up from some 700,000 in 2005.

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