Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Adam Wheeler's Mug Shot

After spending more than three years in the English department at Harvard University, Adam Wheeler was found out. He had been expelled from my alma mater, Bowdoin College, in 2005 during his freshman year. Wheeler now, days before graduation, has been arrested for “20 indictments charging him with larceny, identity fraud and falsifying documents,” according to the Boston Herald.

While Wheeler is facing legal trouble, Harvard has its reputation at risk. (more…)

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This was a Take Action idea I floated to Associate Publisher Peter Rothberg about a month ago.  I researched and wrote up the issue and, as it worked out, it perfectly coincided with this week’s lead editorial.  Going forward, the editors are going to try and create more synergies like this between the  Take Action letters and its related Act Now! blog.  However, as the header to the piece notes, I will not be at The Nation to see that happen.


This post was written by ex-Nationintern and freelance writer Corbin Hiar. 


One important policy issue that has been knocked down the legislative agenda by all the discussion regarding healthcare reform and the financial and auto bailouts is the urgent need to reform the higher education loan and financial aid systems.

The system is clearly broken. Student loans should create opportunities for the young, not cripple them for life. As Act Now! detailed in April, the proposal laid out in President Obama’s ambitious budget could power up the Pell Grant program sufficiently to make a real difference. In addition to protecting Pell Grant scholarships from politicized annual funding debates, President Obama’s higher education budget proposal seeks to increase government loan origination through the highly successful Direct Loan Program and end the sweetheart subsidies the private student loan industry currently enjoys via the wasteful Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program.

179335018_d96941d1afIn a recent column, Gail Collins of the New York Times described the present system as “something like this:

¶We the taxpayers pay the banks to make loans to students.
¶We the taxpayers then guarantee the loans so the banks won’t lose money if the students don’t pay.
¶We the taxpayers then buy back the loans from the banks so they can make more loans to students, for which we will then pay them more rewards.”

Beefing up the government’s Direct Loan Program and killing off the FFEL corporate cash cow could add an estimated $94 billion in black ink to the government’s budget over the next decade–money that would make the establishment of a Pell Grant entitlement financially viable. Any additional savings could also go to increasing the availability of subsidized Perkins Loans or other measures to expand access to higher education.

Click here to learn more about the FFEL and how you can help to end it.


Picture credit: Schlüsselbein2007, altopower (via Flickr)

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