Quick Links — New York average college debt; black families denied student loans; summer intern fails big

by Grace

The average New York state college student debt load for a 2011 graduate is about $26,400.

That compares to a 2011 nationwide average student debt of $27,200, which includes loans for both state and private colleges.  The New York average seems high since their state schools are considered among the nation’s best values in public colleges.

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… the Obama administration has begun denying student loans to disproportionately large numbers of black parents because of blemished credit histories.

 United Negro College Fund President Michael Lomax calls  this a “a nasty surprise”.

In the past year, for historically black colleges and universities (HCBU), the Obama administration’s policies have led to a 36 percent drop in the volume of parent loans. That translated into an annual cut of more than $150 million. The reason, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, is to prevent parents from taking on too much debt — which is as patronizing as it is hypocritical. In April, Obama announced that he was pushing to make more home loans available to people with weak credit.

…  from Howard University in the District to Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta, enrollment at HBCUs is declining as the realities of Obama’s revamped loan policies make a mockery of his high-flung rhetoric.

“It is particularly ironic that at a time when this administration has set a goal to increase the nation’s college graduation rate to 60 percent by 2020, this policy shift occurs that will make reaching the goal impossible,” said Cheryl Smith, senior vice president for public policy and government at the United Negro College Fund. “The tougher credit criteria are having a disparate impact on underrepresented minority students, the very ones that stand to benefit the most from a college education.”

Stricter underwriting standards were added for Parent Plus loans in October 2011, but federal loans continue to have easier qualification requirements than private loans do.

According to Education Department standards, prospective borrowers can’t have any current accounts more than 90 days delinquent, or any foreclosures, bankruptcies, tax liens, wage garnishments or defaults within the past five years. But the department doesn’t look at prospective borrowers’ incomes or their current debt load, meaning that poor borrowers with little or no credit history can be approved.

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NTSB summer intern blamed for racist names

A NTSB summer intern “erroneously” confirmed bogus names of the pilots manning the Asiana flight that crashed in San Francisco last week.  The names, which included “Captain Sum Ting Wong”, were read on the air by a local news anchor.

I’m waiting to see if this intern’s name is released, and if he goes on to get his 15 minutes of “fame”.

One of the fake names provided was “Ho Lee Fuk”, which reminded me of the time my husband worked with a client whose name included Fuk.  Unsurprisingly, it caused a few laughs around the office.

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