Sep 21, 2006
EdFed News Wire

America's Top Student Loan Consolidator
Thursday, September 21 , 2006
New Loan Forgiveness Program For Teachers
by Teresa Cendreda
A new program in Iowa is paying off student loans for thousands of teachers, but there's a catch: those who take advantage of the program have to stay in state and teach subjects in shortage areas, such as math and science. The new program, called the Iowa Student Loan Teacher Educational Loan Forgiveness Program, was announced by Gov. Tom Vilsack. It comes amid a nationwide teacher shortage.

"So many states today are looking for creative ways to attract young people into the teaching profession," Vilsack said.

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Fighting The Rising Cost Of Higher Education

By Teresa Cendreda

For more and more people, it's getting too expensive to go to college. According to a report, "Higher Education: Soaring Out of Reach for Families," recently released by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Rep. George Miller (D-CA), and Campaign for America's Future Co-Director Robert Borosage, the cost of attending a public, four-year college or university has increased 42 percent since President Bush took office, while the median family income has fallen two percent.

The new report, a series of state and national reports compiled by Campaign for America's Future, finds that with tuition costs rising far faster than inflation, real wages still stagnating, federal assistance to students and parents shrinking, and states cutting back institutional support, millions of students are foregoing college, dropping out, or incurring serious debt.

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Concerned senators write letter to Spellings

A letter signed by 12 out of 20 members of the U.S. Senate's education committee and sent to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings expressed concern over inclusion of some of the commission's recommendations regarding the future of higher education in the impending negotiated rulemaking process. The letter contends that the draft report approved by most of the commission members was "extremely broad" and possibly requires legislative action prior to its insertion in the regulations. Headed by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Michael Enzi and senior Democrat Edward M. Kennedy, the possible move was apprehended by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lamar Alexander, Richard Burr, James Jeffords, Christopher Dodd, Patty Murray, Johnny Isakson, Mike DeWine, John Ensign, and Jack Reed.
New IT contracts to restructure ED's FSA systems

Perot Systems has been bestowed with a contract for managing the Education Department's data center operations for the federal student aid (FSA) program. The Virtual Data Center Services contract will host and process $78 billion in annual postsecondary student financial aid, for a period of over 10 years. The new computing technology will be a significant cost saver and provide more effective processing of federal student financial aid. Perot Systems has also recently bagged a contact worth $17 million to upgrade the FSA's Integrated Partner Management system. This five-year contract will integrate varied business functions to manage Title IV financial aid to postsecondary students. The functions include enrollment, eligibility, and oversight processes for managing trading partners such as schools, lenders, and federal and state agencies. Combined, the two contracts total over $210 million.

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