There continues to be quite a bit of commentary recently about the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and their estimates which have played a central role in the development of health care and student loan reform legislation.
Here is the press release. I will be reviewing over the next few days to see where they came out on issues raised in the comment letters, which I analyzed here and here and SLA's comments are here. I will soon find out if those nights in May burning the midnight oil and crafting a 17 page comment letter to highlight my concerns will pay any dividends. Stay tuned for updates...but remember that it the Federal Register announcement is 234 pages long.
Wonder what your peers are thinking about:
* Federal student loan reform?
* The new Perkins loan proposal?
* Financial literacy programs?
* Availability of private student loans?
* Financial aid counseling?
Join Tim Ranzetta of Student Lending Analytics on Thursday, August
6th at 1:30pm ET for an informative (and free) webinar highlighting
results of recent SLA Flash Surveys. These surveys, which generate
hundreds of responses, tap into the pulse of the financial aid
community. Participate in this webinar if you are interested in
learning how your peers are reacting to this dynamic environment.
Given the obsession with college rankings, I thought I would feed into it (cmon, we all love lists) by providing the names of schools that made the Princeton Review's Financial Aid Honor Roll. Each of the school's listed below received the highest rating score of 99:
I am going a bit afield here away from student loans but couldn't contain my outrage. This is madness! Did you know you can get a mortgage from government-owned Fannie Mae with only 3% down? This from the Wall Street Journal today:
"Would-be homeowners have benefited from government programs, including
one that allows buyers of properties owned by Fannie Mae to receive
mortgages from the government-controlled mortgage-finance company with
down payments as low as 3%."
Here is the press release. In an earlier post ("Will there eventually be a private loan refinancing boom?"), I had noted that the high margins on private loans today would open up a refinancing opportunity. I had not thought that the government would step into this role, but what do you expect from an entrepreneur who expected that private capital would see the opportunity and step in?
Think Kiva (which I have written about before) for student loans. I have to admit that I am a sucker for social entrepreneurs with innovative business models. The Seattle Times today has an article describing a non-profit called Vittana. Here is what they do:
"Vittana offers loans to send a student to school for a year in Peru,
Nicaragua or Paraguay for less than $1,000. It works through local
microfinance institutions (MFIs) such as Fundacion Paraguaya, to administer the loans. The money cycles
from the individual lender to Vittana to the MFI to the student and
back. The MFI charges borrowers interest on the loan of about 10 to 15
percent APR to cover its operating costs."
It would appear that as we get closer to the August recess, the proverbial "gloves are coming off" as both parties continued to search for "sound bites" and "score points" that would resonate with constituents. The expectation now is that the House will tackle the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility soon after their return from the August break.