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  • It is now easier to get higher education federal financial aid information
  • Posted By:
  • Chris J
  • Posted On:
  • 07-Aug-2012
  • A new website has been unveiled by our Department of Education to make the financial aid process much easier for students and their families. They can now work out ways to pay for college by just visiting and navigating through the site.

    Through the site students can now obtain valuable information, apply for and repay student loans. This website can be easily accessed on smartphones and tablets. Including Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, a complete revamping has been done to the Federal Student Aid sites. This gives students more options to learn about higher education aid.

    Borrowers who have been unable to pay their private or federal student loan payments on a regular basis can now take the help of the interactive tool called the Student Loan Debt Collection Assistant on this site.

    This tool was developed by the higher education department with the help of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can access this through the bureau’s website too. If you have defaulted on your loan repayment, the tool helps you access alternative payment plans.

    Rise in tuition has been a raging issue especially after the economic meltdown that led to severe budget cuts for universities and colleges. A recent investigation by the US Senate Committee on for-profit colleges in our country shows the huge gap between the cost of a program at a university or public college in California and the cost of obtaining a career college degree.

    This investigation was conducted for a period of two years and at least 30 for-profit institutions in our country were scrutinized. Investigators went through the internal company documents, financial statements and other relevant data to get a clear picture and to show that students studying in these institutions and taxpayers were not getting enough return on investment.

    Understandably, organizations that represent the for-profit sector and the Republicans criticised this report saying that a narrative was made to fit through twisted facts. One portion of the report dealt with high price of tuition. As compared to flagship public universities, career colleges charged at least 20% more for bachelor’s degree programs.

    Similarly, as compared to associate degree programs offered by community colleges, those offered by for-profit colleges are four times more expensive. According to the Senate report, a medical assistant diploma program at Fresno City College in California costs about $1650 while the same program at the Fresno for-profit Heald College costs $22,275.

    Paralegal associate degree at Santa Ana College costs $2392 while the same degree at Ontario based Everest for-profit college costs $41,149. Most of the time students and parents do not completely understand these costs and just take on student loans, says the report.

    Last year, at least $32 billion was offered to for-profit colleges as federal financial aid. From the 2008-09 batches more than fifty per cent of students failed to earn a degree by mid-2010. Students are left with huge debts especially due to factors such as high cost of degrees, poor job placement services, high withdrawal rates and sub-standard academic rigor.


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