Friday, July 16, 2010

Student Loan Default Rates Come Under Scrutiny


Defaulting on student loans is a serious matter, and The Chronicle of Higher Education has recently unearthed data finding that students are defaulting at rates far higher than previously thought. In an article on Sunday entitled “Government Vastly Undercounts Defaults,” The Chronicle studied numbers on the repayment of student loans going back 15 years, finding that defaults only increased over time.

Especially alarming were the numbers for two-year and for-profit colleges, with 40 percent of students who borrowed loans to attend for-profit institutions defaulting since 1995. This data comes just when for-profit colleges are being subjected to federal scrutiny in part because of the amount of federal financial aid they draw and the amount they spend on expenses other than teaching. “While for-profits educate less than 10 percent of students, those colleges’ students received close to a quarter of Pell Grant and federal-student-loan dollars in 2008,” according to the Chronicle article.

In 2009-10, the average for-profit charged about $14,000 in tuition and fees while the average community college charged about $2,500. In total, $50.8 billion worth of loans were in default by the end of the 2009 fiscal year, compared with $39.1 billion at the end of the 2008 fiscal year.

As the article points out, defaulting on student loans can create a variety of difficulties for borrowers, including making them unable to receive further federal aid and less likely to get loans, credit cards and jobs. They also face higher interest rates, and the government may take repayment money from their paychecks and taxes.

The Chronicle has also taken a look at how colleges are working to keep their default rates down, as well as how for-profit institutions could violate new federal regulations on default rates.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Announcements and Updates 7/14/10

We are excited to announce that we will be filming our first commercial for this coming Saturday, July 17.

UPDATE 7/17/10: Filming for our commercial has been postponed, check back soon! Development Update: Database development is >50% complete!

Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why My True Salary?

Greetings, folks. My name is Angela and I'm involved with public relations/market research for the up-and-coming I want to take a few minutes to introduce myself and share my perspective on why is an important project.

I have my B.A. in Psychology (no student loan debt) and my M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling ($90K in student loans). I chose to pursue studies in fields that were personally interesting. Fast Forward: In my field work I came to realize that personal interest in learning material doesn't always equate to the best fit in terms of career. I'm currently employed in the field of Early Childhood Special Education doing a variety of things, some which relate (and many that do not) to my background in psychology and counseling. Though I enjoyed my studies, the reality is that if I had been given more information about my undergraduate major and graduate program in terms of career options/outlook, as well as best-fit careers, I may have made very different choices about which path to pursue. As it is, I'm faced with a huge pile of loan debt which my current job trajectory can't even begin to conquer...

In these troubled economic times, there is no doubt in our minds that students will continue to be faced with similar situations. Our goal with is to provide the information necessary to allow students to make the most informed and personally appropriate decisions in terms of their futures. Luckily, I've come to realize the value of my education and its uses beyond the limitations of the mental health/education field. With an entrepreneurial spirit and a well-rounded team such as what we have at, the possibilities are endless.