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student loans

Updated on May 12 at 11:20 a.m. ET

A for-profit college received millions of dollars from the federal government to help low-income students whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus outbreak, but that same school, Florida Career College (FCC), is also accused of defrauding students.

Dr. Carol Probstfeld speaks at a podium
Kerry Sheridan / WUSF

Americans owe $1.5 trillion dollars in student debt. Some Democratic presidential candidates argue that free tuition is the answer. 

Most days, 25-year-old Chavonne can push her student loan debt to the back of her mind.

Between short-term office jobs in the Washington, D.C., area, she drives for Uber. But once in awhile, a debt collector will get hold of her cellphone number — the one she keeps changing to avoid them — and it all comes back fresh. "I'll be like, 'Oh no!' " she says. "It's a sad reminder that I owe somebody money!"

In April, she got another reminder when the government seized her tax refund.

All this for a degree she never finished.

By Daylina Miller

Dentists burdened by high student loan debt may soon get some relief.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 843 that – among other things - revives a defunct loan repayment program for dentists who see low-income patients.

Updated Sunday at 2:14 p.m. ET

On Friday, three days before Memorial Day, attorneys general for 47 states wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking her to automatically forgive student loans for eligible disabled veterans.

Robert Smith encouraged graduates to "pay it forward"

Teeth cleaning in process
By Erik Christensen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8412023

Several counties in Florida have very few dentists who accept Medicaid - and a few have none at all.

But a bill passed by the Florida House and Senate could incentivize new dentists to work in those areas.

For public school teacher Kaitlyn McCollum, even simple acts like washing dishes or taking a shower can fill her with dread.

"It will just hit me like a ton of bricks," McCollum says. " 'Oh my God, I owe all of that money.' And it's, like, a knee-buckling moment of panic all over again."

She and her family recently moved to a much smaller, older house. One big reason for the downsizing: a $24,000 loan that McCollum has been unfairly saddled with because of a paperwork debacle at the U.S. Department of Education.

Update: Many student borrowers have responded to this story by sharing stories of their struggles with PSLF. We've curated many of them here.

On the morning of Monday, Aug. 27, Seth Frotman told his two young daughters that he would likely be home early that day and could take them to the playground. They cheered.

Seeking to "evaluate the independence and effectiveness" of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's student loan office, 15 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus sent a terse letter Thursday evening to Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB's acting director. The letter was first obtained by NPR.

Justin Napier is exactly the kind of community college graduate Tennessee was hoping for.

In high school, Napier didn't have his eye on college. In fact, he had a job lined up working on race cars after graduation. But in the spring of 2014, a year before Napier graduated, Gov. Bill Haslam announced a plan to make community college free for graduating high school seniors, part of a broader plan to dramatically increase the number of adults in Tennessee with college credentials. It was called, grandly, the Tennessee Promise.

This Saturday more than 100 new laws go into effect in Florida. Here's a look at five.

A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York says on average, recent college grads are leaving school with more than $30,000 in debt. And Florida lawmakers worry many of those students haven’t given much thought to how they’ll pay that money back.

www.CAFECREDIT.COM/FLICKR

High school seniors are starting to get their final acceptance letters - hopefully - from the colleges of their choice. While they celebrate, parents are trying to figure out how to pay for it all.

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the high cost of college and exploring some options for families in need of assistance.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cafecredit/31192595936/

The cost of college can place a heavy burden on students, not to mention parents. This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the high cost of education and have some ideas about how to pay for it.

Looking back, Ronnie Wyche said it’s easy to spot the red flags: Recruiters dodged his questions, rushed him through enrollment paperwork and brushed aside concerns about being about to keep up in an engineering program after more than 30 years without taking a math class.

 

For-profit colleges have gotten some unwanted government attention lately—for aggressive recruiting and high interest rates on loans, and for misleading students about what their degrees will help them accomplish.

Jenna Pascoli stands in a small, glass-paneled room inside the The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Dental Medicine clinic in Bradenton and  pulls on a blue, paper medical gown over her scrubs.  

How Broward College Is Reducing Student Debt

Sep 22, 2014
John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

To get a student loan at Broward College, you’ve got to sit through a two-hour financial lesson with Kent Dunston first.

At times, it’s a little like “Scared Straight!” – that 1978 documentary about setting juvenile delinquents on the right path -- but for your credit score.

Dunston’s first piece of advice – figure out how much money you’re going to need.

“You’re not going to borrow more than that amount of money,” he told the students. “You’ll be offered more. You don’t need it.”

Sen. Nelson: Keep Student Loan Interest Rates Low

May 3, 2012
Photo Credit: Matthew Gil

If Congress doesn't take any action, current student interest rates will double by July 1st. Senator Bill Nelson visited the University of South Florida Tampa campus Thursday to talk with students on how it would affect them.

Keeping the current interest rate at 3.4 percent for one more year will cost the federal government $6 billion and Congress can't agree where to get the funds from.