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Beyond the News

Recent regulations from the Department of Education improve protection for student borrowers targeted by misleading or predatory practices, and establish a clear path for loan forgiveness in instances of institutional fraud or misconduct—an issue financial aid experts say will impact both for-profits and nonprofits.

More than 40 years after it was established, Title IX continues to pose compliance challenges for higher education institutions struggling with sexual assault investigations. Some say the federal government doesn’t provide enough guidance.

A student loan that goes into default costs 250 percent more than a loan paid back on schedule. (Gettyimages.com: wildpixel)

Some advocacy groups see student loan debt as not just a financial problem, but a growing social justice concern, as well. Now, some 40 civil rights, legal aid and public interest are urging the Department of Education to determine whether debt disproportionately impacts minorities.

Higher ed has become the latest target of retirement plan fee litigation. One firm in particular has filed class-action suits against dozens of universities, alleging breaches of ERISA fiduciary duties.

The tactic has been used for years in business, says Eric Paley of legal consultants Nixon Peabody.

Skill-building—Former coal industry workers may find them-selves at the University of Wyoming researching how to use water byproducts from oil and gas wells.

Universities are creating scholarships and entrepreneurial opportunities to help the unemployed and underemployed gain footing in an ever-greening economy.

A bipartisan bill intended to improve college access and graduation rates would impose college-loan program penalties on institutions that perform poorly in these areas. In turn, schools that do enroll a significant number of low-income students would be eligible for up to $8 million over five years.

Students who arrive at college with a declared major don’t necessarily graduate in a timely manner, and taking the time to explore different academic routes doesn’t always add time to a student’s college career, according to recent research from EAB.

To help new students make the most educated choice, Georgia State University analyzes student performance to guide them in choosing a major that fits for their academic strengths and financial situation.

Breaking the poverty cycle: Marcy Stidum not only created an apartment for homeless students, but she also helps them with financial planning and job searches.

By the end of August, two students had already lived in an emergency-housing apartment dedicated to the homeless at Kennesaw State University outside Atlanta. And the unit, one of the first of its kind in the country, had opened only two weeks earlier.

Student-run campus organizations are partnering with food service providers to get leftover food to those who need it. (Photo: Food Recovery Network/James Souder, UMD Recovery)

More than 22 million pounds of uneaten food is thrown away on college campuses each year, according to Food Recovery Network, a student-driven nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste and hunger at higher education institutions.

A single college student generates an average 142 pounds of food waste per year, according to Recycling Works, a Massachusetts recycling assistance program.

The impacts of unionization by teaching and research assistants can be seen at several U.S. public universities (gettyimages.com: Daniel Vilaneuve)

Leaders at private colleges concerned about the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling allowing Columbia University teaching and research assistants to unionize can look to their peers at public universities to prepare for coming changes.

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