Jun 14, 2007
Medical Student Loans, Medical Loan Consolidation, Consolidate Medical School Loans
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Thursday, June 14 , 2007
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Pell Grants and support for NIH raised

By Shaileja Mammen

The legislation approved by the House of Representatives raises the maximum Pell Grant awarded to needy, low income, undergraduate students to $4,700. This is a significant rise. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will also receive 2.6 percent more funding in 2008 as compared to the previous year.

The other student financial aid programs such as Perkins Loan and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants Programs will continue at the 2007 levels according to the legislation. A reduction in the funding of these programs was proposed.

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New Legislation Introduced to Forgive Private Student Loans upon Bankruptcy

By Brooke Heath

This week, legislation was introduced by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D) that would allow private student loans to be forgiven upon bankruptcy. Currently, neither private nor federal student loans will be discharged for a borrower who files for bankruptcy, with the rare exception of extreme hardship.

Private student loans, also known as alternative loans, offer students an option other than federal student loans, which are backed by the federal government. Private loans are borrowed through private institutions but are not administered by the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.

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Cuomo, lenders testify before U.S. lawmakers

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, who rang the bell on student loans abuses and exposed universities and lenders' links, now plans to widen his probe. He hopes to examine what criteria the lenders use in underwriting these loans and find if they infringe civil rights statutes. While testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Cuomo said that the federal regulators were "asleep at the switch" while abuses occurred in the student lending system.

Wisconsin University's new student loans rules

The University of Wisconsin is reviewing a new proposal to bar the student lenders from bribing with gifts and payments in exchange for students. The proposal is up for approval this week. The university wants to reassure those students seeking loans that it has their best interests in mind, notwithstanding the industry currently mired in controversy. It would also set out how university employees and companies can evade improper relationships.

The UW System Board of Regents controls 26 different four- and two-year colleges, and its students took out a record $592.7 million in loans in 2005.

The UW plan has provided that employees can serve on advisory committees but cannot be rewarded. The school can keep a list of preferred lenders with a minimum of three companies.

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