Recent increases in cost-of-attendance estimates prompt calls for standardization of new aid for athletes.
Misconduct often results from colleges’ routine organizational behavior, concludes a study of a 2009 scandal at the University of Illinois.
Congratulations, Class of 2015! Your hard work paid off. You did it! There’s a lot to think about as you begin the next chapter. Let me help you with the student loan part.
Here are four things you should do now, before you make that first student loan payment:
- Find out what you owe
Start by tracking down all of your student loans. Just go to StudentAid.gov/login and log in to view your federal student loan balances, interest rate, loan servicer contact information, and more.
Note: Don’t forget to check your personal records to see if you have private student loans as well.
- Enroll in a repayment plan that you can afford
If you take no action after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled in the 10-Year Standard Repayment Plan. Find out what your monthly payment amount is going to be if you stick with this plan. If you don’t think you can afford that amount, consider switching to an income-driven repayment plan instead.
Income-driven repayment plans are designed to make your student loan debt more manageable by reducing your monthly payment amount to an affordable amount based on your income.
The easiest way to compare the different repayment plans based on your loan amount and income is to use our repayment calculator. Once you log in, the calculator pulls in information about your federal student loans, such as your loan balance and your interest rates, and allows you to estimate what your monthly payment would be under each of our different repayment plans. It also allows you to compare the total amount you will pay for your loan over time and can tell you the amount of loan forgiveness you’re expected to qualify for if you choose one of our income-driven repayment plans:
Once you select a plan, contact your servicer to apply or enroll.
- Figure out how to pay
If you have federal student loans, you won’t pay the U.S. Department of Education directly. You will make payments to your loan servicer. Your loan servicer is a company that works on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education to process and manage student loan payments. To find out who your loan servicer is, log in to StudentAid.gov. You may have more than one loan servicer, so it is important that you look at each loan individually.
Automatic Debit: The easiest way to pay
If you want to make repaying your student loans as easy as possible, sign up for automatic debit through your loan servicer. If you choose this option, your loan payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account each month, ensuring that your payments are made on time. If that isn’t good enough, you may also qualify for a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you enroll in automatic debit. To enroll in automatic debit, go to your servicer’s website.
- Know who to contact if you need help
If you ever have questions or need help with your student loans contact your loan servicer. Your loan servicer can help you choose a repayment plan, understand loan consolidation, apply for an income-driven repayment plan, and complete other tasks related to your federal student loan. It’s important to remember that you NEVER have to pay for help with your student loans. That’s what your loan servicer is there for. Their help is FREE.
It’s important to maintain contact with your loan servicer. If your circumstances change at any time during your repayment period, your loan servicer will be able to help.
Nicole Callahan is a digital engagement strategist at the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.
Americans value higher education. But they’re not so sure graduates are ready for the work force, according to a new survey from Gallup and the Lumina Foundation.
A battle continues over whether the New York college can maintain its mission while charging tuition. But did its tradition really help needy students?
The professional-networking giant’s purchase of Lynda.com could allow it to do to colleges what Airbnb has done to hotels and Uber has done to taxis.
Admissions counselors learned about the intricacies of financial aid in a special seminar at Pennsylvania's Robert Morris University.
U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul, and Hillary Clinton have announced their candidacies. Here’s where they stand on issues of concern to colleges.
The project, in development by a nonprofit organization, will use technology to bridge gaps in existing procedures. But some skeptics worry about protecting the accused.
Two new groups aim to increase opportunities for minority coaches and help solve systemic hiring problems.
As rankings proliferate, they are skewing university and national priorities, says Ellen Hazelkorn, author of Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education.
Several conservative lawmakers add their voices to those lobbying Congress to increase federal support for biomedical research.
The U.S. Education Department’s action against the beleaguered higher-education company suggests that job-placement rates will be a focus of attention.
Some state lawmakers want to repeal measures that have aided young people who were brought into the country illegally. Here’s a guide to four states where the debate is playing out.
New research finds big gaps in faculty compensation at public two-year colleges linked to state labor laws and institutions’ size, revenue sources, and location.
During the last weekend in March, union leaders, state education leaders, teacher leaders, one of ED’s Principal Ambassador Fellows and I joined delegations from 15 high-performing education systems across the globe for the 5thInternational Summit on the Teaching Profession in Banff, Canada. As countries around the world share a common desire to give every child a chance in life and to support teachers who devote their lives to that goal, the summit is a unique opportunity to learn from each other’s successes and challenges and to look for ways to replicate or adapt back home what other countries are doing well. We all appreciated the hospitality of Alberta Minister Gordon Dirks and his colleagues from across Canada for providing us the opportunity to grow and learn in such a beautiful setting.
Each year at the international summit each participating country commits to work in key areas over the course of the year and then report back on progress at the next summit. Together with the AFT, NEA, and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), we reported on the progress of our commitments from 2014 on teacher leadership, early learning and labor-management collaboration to increase learning for all students.
This year, the U.S. delegation introduced Teach to Lead, an initiative that seeks to advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership both in and out of the classroom, to the global stage sparking international interest in this teacher-led and designed initiative to promote meaningful opportunities for teacher leadership that improve student outcomes. Teach to Lead has become an important vehicle through which so many teachers are fighting to make their leadership dreams a reality.
While at the summit our U.S. teachers, including six who have been active in Teach to Lead, convened a meeting with Canadian, Dutch, German and Estonian teachers and are now creating an international team of teachers exchanging ideas and working to advance teacher leadership and innovation across the globe. The teachers who attended are also getting the word out to educators across the U.S. and are beginning conversations about one of the commitments we made this year–a domestic summit modeled after the international summit to highlight and expand teacher leadership opportunities in the U.S.
During the summit, countries discussed their different approaches to leadership and the importance of collaboration. The Ontario Minister described their competitive Teacher Learning and Leadership Program to fund teacher projects; Singapore builds leadership development into each of its three career tracks; Finland starts leadership training in its initial teacher preparation; and New Zealand discussed its new Communities of Schools initiative and Teacher-led Innovation Fund.
I came away from the summit discussions with a renewed energy and commitment to teacher leadership and collaboration at all levels of education. With Jeff Charbonneau, 2013 National Teacher of the Year, presenting, the U.S. delegation committed publicly to:
- Convene a summit in the U.S. to highlight teacher leadership and expand leadership opportunities.
- Continue to work to increase the number of children with access to high-quality early learning and encourage teacher leadership in this regard.
- Work to increase access for learners of all ages to high-quality career and technical education and encourage teacher leadership in this regard.
As Sharif El-Mekki, principal of Mastery Charter School-Shoemaker Campus in Philadelphia, said “I was proud that teachers and principals were a part of the decision making process for establishing the United States’ commitments for this coming year. A classroom teacher (and leader) presented our commitments to the world. The significance of this was profound, and lauded by the other international teachers in attendance. It was a proud moment for teacher leadership, nationally and internationally.”
With our teachers in the lead, we are already moving ahead on our commitments and will report back on our progress to the international community next year at the 6th summit in Berlin, Germany. As Mark Sass, high school teacher leader from Colorado, said “It is exciting to know that the work we are doing around teacher leadership is building nationally, as well as internationally. I left the Summit empowered and energized knowing there is a global collective focused on elevating the profession.”
When we hosted the first international summit in New York City in 2011, it wasn’t evident that it would create an ongoing international community of practice dedicated to enhancing the teaching profession, and dedicated to improving learning for all students. But it has and that reflects the global view that all teachers and principals need and deserve excellent preparation, support and opportunities for growth. Our educators and students deserve nothing less.
Arne Duncan is the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Cross-posted from Let’s Move!
The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is back!
This year, First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fourth-annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation.
The challenge invites kids ages 8-12 to join a parent or guardian in creating an original recipe that is healthy, affordable, and delicious.
One winner from each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia will be selected and have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” here at the White House later this summer where a selection of the winning recipes will be served.
Recipients pay back a set percentage of income for a fixed period of time. Proponents say the model protects students from risk and could help them choose a good college.
A new report shows progress in assisting minority students earn doctorates, but which strategies are most successful remain unclear.
Despite the clamor, the real conversation about campus sexual assault has hardly begun.