Aug 23, 2007
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Thursday, August 23 , 2007
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Spellings Urges Colleges and Lenders to Comply with New Loan Rules

By Amit Agarwal

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings sent out letters to colleges, universities, lenders, and guarantee agencies that participate in the federal guaranteed student loan program. The letters urge them to work together on the principles of the new regulations that the department proposed in June. However, the regulations, in light of the congressional "sunshine" acts and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's code of conduct, will not be effective until July 2008.

In a conference call with reporters, Spellings stated that the letter urged for:
  • Full disclosure of information about loans to parents and students and disclosure of criteria used in the selection of preferred lenders

  • No acceptance any kind of gifts or benefits from lenders in exchange for being included on schools' preferred lenders lists
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Walden University Announces Expansion of Scholarships

By Amit Agarwal

Accredited online distance-learning institution Walden University has announced masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral scholarships. The scholarships are an expansion of programs announced last year by the University which aim to increase the number of practicing scholars. These scholars are expected to directly apply solutions to vital social issues.

Masters scholarships are offered to students who enroll in the Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, M.S. in Mental Health Counseling, M.S. in Psychology, or M.S. in Nursing programs. Students who meet financial need criteria are given $2,000 per award year in scholarships.

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Senate confirms Diane Auer Jones as assistant secretary for postsecondary education

Diane Auer Jones has been confirmed by the Senate as assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the U.S. Department of Education. Jones will serve as the principal adviser to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on departmental issues pertaining to developing postsecondary education policies and legislative proposals. Prior to the appointment, Jones served the Department of Education as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education, a post she took over in May 2007. Before joining the Department of Education, she served as deputy to the associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.

Three Michigan schools say their loan practices are legitimate

Responding to the letter sent by Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to more than 900 colleges that have 80% or more of their student loans with a single lender, three Michigan schools have defended their student loan practices. Michigan State University College of Law, Alma College, and Lawrence Technological University claim that private lenders provide them with better deals than they would receive from federal student loan programs and that there is nothing wrong with the fact that most of their students use the same lender. Nineteen Michigan schools were included on the list of 921 schools that were allegedly dominated by a single loan provider.

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