Online college loan applications add to widespread student confusion

Half of students said they didn't believe they could ever pay down their student loans.

Most college students take out school loans without understanding the differences between federal and private loans or the risks of variable interest rates, and the ease of online loan application forms has exacerbated misunderstandings that tack on years of repayments.

About two-thirds of college students don’t understand the basic differences between  federally-backed student loans – which usually have lower and more stable interest rates – and private school loans that often have wildly fluctuating interest rates once students begin repayment, according to findings in a survey conducted by NERA Economic Consulting and Young Invincibles, a student advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

Common misconceptions about student loan options aren’t a result of lazy Google searches, wayward clicks, and deceptive sales pitches from banks and companies hawking private loans.…Read More

House boosts college aid for students in need

Obama pushed for legislation that would fill a $19 billion Pell Grant shortfall.
Obama pushed for legislation that would fill a $19 billion Pell Grant shortfall.

Riding the coattails of a historic health care vote, the House on March 21 also passed a broad reorganization of college aid that affects millions of students and moves President Barack Obama closer to winning yet another of his top domestic policies.

The bill rewrites a four-decades-old student loan program, eliminating its reliance on private lenders and using the savings to direct $36 billion in new spending to Pell Grants for students in financial need.

In the biggest piece of education legislation since No Child Left Behind nine years ago, the bill also would provide more than $4 billion to historically black colleges and community colleges.…Read More