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Showing blog posts by Sarah Lewis

Student Debt Abuse: It’s Not Just Sallie Mae

Student Debt Abuse: It’s Not Just Sallie Mae

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General just released a scathing audit report on the department’s Office of Federal Student Aid’s (FSA's) handling of contracts with private companies that collect defaulted federal student loans.

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New Law Will Increase Student Loan Interest Rates for Borrowers

New Law Will Increase Student Loan Interest Rates for Borrowers

Post-secondary students and their parents are in for a treat as they begin financial preparations for the coming school year.

Under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, signed into law last summer, just as new federal student loan rates were set to double, student loan interest rates are now tied to financial markets, which means as the financial markets get stronger interest rates will get higher.

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Why Sen. Warren’s Refinance Bill Is a Big Deal

Image via Edward Kimmel/Flickr

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill today to allow borrowers to refinance their outstanding student loan debt. The Warren bill is an excellent step toward easing the crushing $1.2 trillion student loan debt borne by graduates and reducing barriers to higher education for working families.

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Higher Education Ratings System Would Further Disadvantage Institutions Serving Low-Income Students and People of Color

Higher Education Ratings System Would Further Disadvantage Institutions Serving Low-Income Students and People of Color

The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently released the outline of a proposal for the Obama administration’s plan to make college more affordable. The rating system it puts forth essentially amounts to a "Race to the Top" for postsecondary and higher education institutions, something school faculty and working families have been concerned about from the get-go. Race to the Top/No Child Left Behind has resulted in further defunding of public schools serving disadvantaged students while already better-resourced schools have been able to further their lead. This has widened the achievement and opportunity gaps between children of the working class and their more privileged peers from affluent families.

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Your Patriotic Duty? Ask for a Raise

While the Great Recession started only a few years ago, journalist and playwright Barbara Garson argues that “the trouble actually started decades earlier.”

In a piece for the Los Angeles Times, Garson tells America's workers to do their patriotic duty and ask for a raise.

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Young Workers...What's on Our Policy Agenda?

Follow the conversations on Twitter: #YEPF

Workers under the age of 34 face higher unemployment rates than older workers and make up nearly half of the currently unemployed. As student debt continues to build up—exceeding even credit card debt—and wages stagnate or fall for workers with or without a college degree, young workers are accruing less wealth than their parents—perhaps the first time in U.S. history when a generation has failed to do better than its parents. Young workers struggle to find work and often take jobs that are below their education and skill level or bounce from contract to unpaid internship to temp job without the stability of a full-time regular job but with all the long hours and hard work.

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In Case You Missed It: Catch Up on Your Friday Reading

Photo courtesy of Christina Welsh's Flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christinawelsh/

In case you missed it, here are some important reads from the past week:

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Working Families Refused to Be Silenced in the 2012 Election Despite Outside Spending

Working Families  Refused to be Silenced in the 2012 Election Despite Outside Spending

Election Day is behind us now (someone please tell Rep. Allen West [R-Fla.]), and there’s plenty to be happy about. Nov. 6, 2012, brought a wave of victories for working families and the defeat of some seriously scary candidates backed by billionaires and their deep pockets.

America's workers refused to let their voices be silenced by the nearly $1.5 billion in independent spending that poured into the election and nearly every candidate backed by Karl Rove’s Crossroads conglomerate lost. It’s tempting in this atmosphere to say that Citizens United didn’t matter after all, and that unlimited spending isn’t a problem in U.S. politics.  But let’s not jump to premature conclusions on the basis of a single election. Karl Rove isn’t going anywhere, and there’s no guarantee the GOP and its billionaires will make the same stupid missteps next time around.

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Something Tells Us Tax Dodgers Are in No Hurry to 'Fix the Debt'

Ladies and gentleman, meet the tax-dodging gazillionaires behind Fix the Debt, a billionaire-funded group of millionaire CEOs trying to take away your retirement security and raise your effective tax rate while lowering their own tax liability.

Fix the Debt bills itself as a “non-partisan movement to put America on a better fiscal and economic path.” However, the group touts a non-specific tax plan that members are calling “Simpson-Bowles Plus,” a plan that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits, guts tax credits and benefits that many working families rely on, widens tax incentives for corporations to offshore jobs and lowers tax rates for corporations and the wealthy. Basically, it’s a wish list for millionaire CEOs!

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Education: Affordable and Accessible Only for the Privileged?

Photo of the National Labor College 2012 graduation by Page One Photography.

2007 Boston Globe report on college admissions data that has been making the rounds on Twitter lately reveals that “about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America's highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions' minimum admissions standards,” most of whom “are students who gained admission through their ties to people the institution wanted to keep happy, with alumni, donors, faculty members, administrators and politicians topping the list.”

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