Nov 23, 2006
Barton Community College, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)

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Thursday, November 23 , 2006
Sen. Kennedy's Student Loan Sunshine Act
By Emily Zaborniak
As of late, Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), known as an advocate for students' rights, has pushed to make his voice heard more loudly on funding issues. Earlier this month, Kennedy joined Susan Collins (R-ME), Norm Coleman (R-MN), and Russ Feingold (D-WI) in lobbying to raise the maximum Pell Grant award, which is currently set at 4,050 dollars. At a mid-November press conference, Kennedy outlined his legislative agenda for the upcoming session, keeping higher education at the forefront by introducing a new bill called the Student Loan Sunshine Act. The bill proposes legislation that would require colleges and lenders to provide detailed accounts of their arrangements with one another.

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PHEAA Ordered to Publish Spending Records

By Emily Zaborniak

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority, or PHEAA, boasts nearly 60 billion dollars in assets, making it one of the nation's largest student loan agencies. With such a remarkably strong presence, the organization inevitably garners public attention. However, recently, this attention has led to scrutiny. PHEAA has been accused and found guilty of withholding information about its spending on retreats for board members, as well as other suspicious financial records.

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New Democrats make student aid a priority

Newly elected Democrats in Congress have placed college affordability high on their agenda. A proposal by Democratic leadership will be introduced on the first day of the new Congress and is expected to be passed within 100 hours of the start of the Congressional session. The proposal addresses the need for possible expansions of the federal Pell Grant program, which benefits low-income families.
Student Privacy Protection Act of 2006 proposed

In the House of Representatives, Robert Andrews (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would provide students and parents with private civil remedies for violations of their privacy rights under the General Education Provisions Act. According to his proposed Student Privacy Protection Act of 2006, educational institutions would be prevented from depriving parents or students of any of the rights to privacy of and access to educational records established by Section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act.

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