Jillian Berman
Jillian Berman
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New bill on students pledging future income ‘an open license for discriminatory financing’

New bill on students pledging future income ‘an open license for discriminatory financing’

With the nation’s student-debt load at $1.5 trillion and growing, presidential candidates, higher education leaders, borrower advocates are looking for ways to slow its climb. Amid this backdrop, an idea first proposed in the 1950s is being hailed by industry, philanthropists and some higher-education leaders as a partial solution to our student-loan problem. But to consumer advocates and even U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, this same idea runs the risk of discriminating against women and students of color, and tying students to a financial product...

August 5, 2019
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Biden’s ‘rescue’ package would eliminate taxes on cancelled student loan debt

Biden’s ‘rescue’ package would eliminate taxes on cancelled student loan debt

The COVID-19 relief bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday eliminates an obstacle to broad-based student debt cancellation — the tax treatment of any discharged debt.  Right now, borrowers who have their student loans discharged — with a few exceptions, including through Public Service Loan Forgiveness — face a tax bill on the cancelled debt. If the bill passed by Senators on Saturday becomes law, any student debt wiped away through the end of 2025 wouldn’t be counted as income for tax purposes. The question of how forgiven student debts are taxed has been surrounding broad-based...

March 8, 2021
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Biden’s free-college proposals could boost economy by $160 billion — but it may still be a tough sell in Congress

Biden’s free-college proposals could boost economy by $160 billion — but it may still be a tough sell in Congress

One of the major goals of the Biden administration will be to stimulate the economy. New research suggests that one of the now-President’s campaign proposals could do just that, though it may need to overcome major hurdles to become a reality.  Biden’s plan to make community college free and four-year public college tuition-free for students from households earning $125,000 or less would increase Americans’ disposable income by $61 billion, according to an analysis published this week by the Campaign for Free College Tuition and Rise, an advocacy organization focused on college...

January 21, 2021
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Biden administration to extend student loan payment pause on Day 1, transition officials say

Biden administration to extend student loan payment pause on Day 1, transition officials say

Once in office, President-elect Joe Biden will extend the coronavirus-era payment pause on student loans, a member of his transition team told reporters Friday.  “On Day 1, the president-elect will direct the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student-loan payments and interest for millions of Americans with federal student loans,” David Kamin, a Biden transition adviser, . The pause on student-loan payments and collections was set to expire on Jan. 31, just 11 days after Biden takes office. Congress the student loan payment pause in the $900 billion COVID relief...

January 8, 2021
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Biden administration to cancel $1 billion in student-loan debt held by scammed borrowers

Biden administration to cancel $1 billion in student-loan debt held by scammed borrowers

Borrowers who were scammed by their schools but who only received partial relief from their student-loan debt under the Betsy DeVos-era Department of Education will have their loans fully discharged — a move that will result in an estimated $1 billion in debt relief, the DOE announced Thursday. These 72,000 borrowers have already had their claims for debt relief approved under the borrower defense process, which allows borrowers who attended schools that were found to have misled them to have their federal student loans discharged.In 2019, the Trump administration implemented a rule that...

March 18, 2021
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‘I know it’s coming, I’m going to have to pay’ — Borrowers brace for the return of student loan payments

‘I know it’s coming, I’m going to have to pay’ — Borrowers brace for the return of student loan payments

Like many who borrow money to pay for school, Sandra Hinz planned to use her student loans and the education they financed to improve her job and earnings prospects. She’d worked for years in administrative roles in medical offices, an experience that inspired her to study to become a medical assistant to enhance her skills and opportunities. “I just loved what I was doing,” Hinz said. “I wanted to make a little bit more money an hour than I was making, I wasn’t looking to be a millionaire by any means.” But Hinz, 61, didn’t get that chance. In the middle of her schooling, Hinz’s son was in...

November 30, 2020
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President-elect Joe Biden has signaled he’s open to canceling student-loan debt — the question is when and how much

President-elect Joe Biden has signaled he’s open to canceling student-loan debt — the question is when and how much

Activists, advocates and scholars have been arguing for years that cancelling student-loan debt would provide an economic stimulus, — and that the president has the authority to do it.  Now it’s looking more likely than ever that he will. Earlier this fall, Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren introduced a resolution cancel up to $50,000 in student debt. Schumer for that proposal in an interview with author Anand Giridharadas, arguing that student debt cancellation could be part of a suite of FDR-style proposals in the first 100 days of a Biden administration.  “We believe...

November 9, 2020
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Netflix CEO’s $120 million donation to historically black colleges highlights inequities in college funding

Netflix CEO’s $120 million donation to historically black colleges highlights inequities in college funding

Several times a year, for a donation to a university. These gifts, which can reach into nine figures, are almost the exclusive purview of institutions with huge endowments and relatively large populations of white and wealthy students.That changed Wednesday when Reed Hastings, the chief executive officer of Netflixand his wife Patty Quillin, split evenly between the United Negro College Fund, a scholarship foundation for black students and private historically black colleges and universities, and Spelman and Morehouse colleges, two private HBCUs in Atlanta, Ga.At a time when the nation is...

June 20, 2020
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As stimulus bill stalls, eviction protection and other financial relief set to expire Dec. 31

As stimulus bill stalls, eviction protection and other financial relief set to expire Dec. 31

While Capitol Hill gamesmanship suddenly puts a $900 billion COVID-19 rescue bill in the lurch, crucial financial relief programs and protections are days away from vanishing, taking away aid for housing, unemployment, paid leave and more. Without President Trump’s signature on a bill he calls a “” or some other form of congressional action, these safeguards and safety nets will go away at a moment when coronavirus cases keep rising andOn Thursday morning, House Republicans , up from the $600 checks contained in the rescue bill.    Trump called for the $2,000 checks One day earlier,...

December 24, 2020
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