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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Natow

Student Financial Aid in the News

There are a number of news stories today about student financial aid:

Inside Higher Education reports on subsidies for federal graduate student loans: "The share of federal student loan debt with relatively generous repayment options -- in income-driven repayment plans -- is growing rapidly, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office [CBO]. And the CBO, a nonpartisan agency, found that borrowers with graduate and professional degrees are benefiting most from the increasingly expensive federal program."

Jason Delisle writes an opinion piece in Inside Higher Education on the same CBO report about the income-based student loan repayment program: "The program was designed to help borrowers afford their loans by capping monthly payments according to their incomes. The government then forgives any remaining balances after 20 years of payments (or just 10 years for government and nonprofit workers). But don’t let the name of this program fool you. Income-based repayment isn’t limited to a narrow group of low-income borrowers."

Finally, Inside Higher Education also discusses a New America report regarding so-called merit aid: "The report by Stephen Burd, senior higher education writer and editor at the D.C. think tank, found that public four-year institutions have spent at least $32 billion in financial aid dollars between 2001 and 2017 on students who lack financial need. The organization's analysis found that more than half of the 339 public universities examined doubled the amount they spent on non-need-based aid between 2001 and 2017, after adjusting for inflation. Regional state colleges were actually found to devote even more of their institutional aid funds to non-needy students than public flagships."

The Chronicle of Higher Education also reports on the New America merit aid report: "The pressure to attract wealthier students often stems from the financial pressures colleges face. State governments, strapped for cash, are increasingly divesting from public institutions. Meanwhile, both private and public colleges are increasingly concerned with raising their ranking and status."

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