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1
L.L.M. Board / Sallie Mae: preferred or not preferred in Miami?
« on: August 16, 2007, 08:16:17 AM »
August 15, 2007

Sallie Mae: preferred or not preferred in Miami?

It's getting tough to find a proper "preferred lenders" list this summer, as colleges feel the heat from state and federal investigations into student lending practices.

But old habits die hard.

On Monday, financial aid officials at the University of Miami said they'd abandoned the practice of recommending preferred lenders to students. On Tuesday they backpedaled in a report to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, after the Times pointed out instances in which they were still promoting lending giant Sallie Mae.

Sallie Mae handled some 92 percent of federal loans worth more than $69 million at the university in 2006, including University of Miami loans the company backed and later purchased. The company did even better at Nova Southeastern University that year; it issued $146.7 million loans in its own name, and had agreements to purchase $277 million more from the university or its "strategic lending partner," Fifth Third Bank.

The federal Department of Education has been trying to crack down on such domination by a single lender, proposing new rules and issuing warnings this summer to schools where one company dominates the action. But it missed many arrangements, such as those at Miami and Nova, in which loans are issued and quickly resold to another lender.

Got your own story on how Sallie, another big lender, or a university tried to convince you to take out a loan? The Gradebook would like to hear about it. Send a note to tmarshall@sptimes.com.

 

 

2
General Board / Sallie Mae: preferred or not preferred in Miami?
« on: August 16, 2007, 08:14:58 AM »
August 15, 2007

Sallie Mae: preferred or not preferred in Miami?

It's getting tough to find a proper "preferred lenders" list this summer, as colleges feel the heat from state and federal investigations into student lending practices.

But old habits die hard.

On Monday, financial aid officials at the University of Miami said they'd abandoned the practice of recommending preferred lenders to students. On Tuesday they backpedaled in a report to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, after the Times pointed out instances in which they were still promoting lending giant Sallie Mae.

Sallie Mae handled some 92 percent of federal loans worth more than $69 million at the university in 2006, including University of Miami loans the company backed and later purchased. The company did even better at Nova Southeastern University that year; it issued $146.7 million loans in its own name, and had agreements to purchase $277 million more from the university or its "strategic lending partner," Fifth Third Bank.

The federal Department of Education has been trying to crack down on such domination by a single lender, proposing new rules and issuing warnings this summer to schools where one company dominates the action. But it missed many arrangements, such as those at Miami and Nova, in which loans are issued and quickly resold to another lender.

Got your own story on how Sallie, another big lender, or a university tried to convince you to take out a loan? The Gradebook would like to hear about it. Send a note to tmarshall@sptimes.com.

 

 

3
Nova Southeastern / Sallie Mae: preferred or not preferred in Miami?
« on: August 16, 2007, 08:13:23 AM »
August 15, 2007

Sallie Mae: preferred or not preferred in Miami?

It's getting tough to find a proper "preferred lenders" list this summer, as colleges feel the heat from state and federal investigations into student lending practices.

But old habits die hard.

On Monday, financial aid officials at the University of Miami said they'd abandoned the practice of recommending preferred lenders to students. On Tuesday they backpedaled in a report to Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, after the Times pointed out instances in which they were still promoting lending giant Sallie Mae.

Sallie Mae handled some 92 percent of federal loans worth more than $69 million at the university in 2006, including University of Miami loans the company backed and later purchased. The company did even better at Nova Southeastern University that year; it issued $146.7 million loans in its own name, and had agreements to purchase $277 million more from the university or its "strategic lending partner," Fifth Third Bank.

The federal Department of Education has been trying to crack down on such domination by a single lender, proposing new rules and issuing warnings this summer to schools where one company dominates the action. But it missed many arrangements, such as those at Miami and Nova, in which loans are issued and quickly resold to another lender.

Got your own story on how Sallie, another big lender, or a university tried to convince you to take out a loan? The Gradebook would like to hear about it. Send a note to tmarshall@sptimes.com.

 


4
L.L.M. Board / Got Nova Debt?
« on: August 13, 2007, 09:13:55 AM »
Have you accumulated large debt from your studies at Nova?

You’re not alone!

Nova ranked 10th in the nation for undergraduate debt this year.

Share your student loan story in our 'Got Nova Debt Contest' and enter to win $500. 

go to: www.eyeonnova.org


5
General Board / Got Nova Debt?
« on: August 13, 2007, 09:12:10 AM »
Have you accumulated large debt from your studies at Nova?

You’re not alone!

Nova ranked 10th in the nation for undergraduate debt this year.

Share your student loan story in our 'Got Nova Debt Contest' and enter to win $500. 

go to: www.eyeonnova.org

6
General Board / Got Nova Southeastern University Debt?
« on: August 12, 2007, 08:09:14 AM »
Have you accumulated large debt from your studies at Nova?

You’re not alone!

Nova ranked 10th in the nation for undergraduate debt this year.

Share your student loan story in our 'Got Nova Debt Contest' and enter to win $500. 

Got to: www.eyeonnova.org



7
Nova Southeastern / Got Nova Debt?
« on: August 12, 2007, 08:07:48 AM »
Have you accumulated large debt from your studies at Nova?

You’re not alone!

Nova ranked 10th in the nation for undergraduate debt this year.

Share your student loan story in our 'Got Nova Debt Contest' and enter to win $500. 

go to: www.eyeonnova.org





8
Nova Southeastern / End gouging of students
« on: June 26, 2007, 07:37:59 PM »

 
  Palm Beach Post
 
End gouging of students
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

That scheme that let students at Nova Southeastern University in Broward County extend their loan payments for a fee divided between the lender and the school? The kickbacks are "such a small thing," involve "very few students," and "Nova isn't doing anything wrong," said attorney Thomas Panza.

Oh, and Nova plans to terminate a contract that let employees of Sallie Mae - the self-described "leading provider of student loans" - work in Nova's student loan call center. And university officials are willing to sign a code of conduct.
 
Mr. Panza can't finesse what may be the worst example in Florida thus far of the nationwide loan-gouging. In other states, financial aid officials were receiving as much as $100,000 in stock, or vacations and other perks, for steering students to certain loan companies, while failing to disclose their interest.

So, students incurring predatory debt financed companies that paid to get on preferred-lender lists. University officials were complicit. So were universities. Given that example, what else did the schools expect from their employees? The proposed code of conduct for the state's public university system is the least Florida can do, but it's not enough. How would the policy affect private colleges such as Nova Southeastern, the largest in Florida?

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has joined the New York state investigation that first spotlighted the problem. One result is the Student Loan Sunshine Act in Congress that would protect students from such arrangements between schools and lenders. "The level of abuse," New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said, "has surprised everyone."

On Wednesday, the Senate is to revisit the bill. It would require private lenders to disclose financial relationships with colleges. After the House passed its version last month, lobbyists representing the for-profit companies in the $85 billion student-loan industry argued that the free market can serve students better than the Federal Direct Loan Program. In fact, the record shows that the private lenders care more about serving themselves.

No university, and no university financial aid employee, should have any relationship with a private student loan company. Making that law would not be a small thing.
 

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/content/opinion/epaper/2007/06/26/m8a_edloans_edit_0626.html
 
 
 

 


 
 
 

 
  Check the box to include the list of links referenced in the article.
 
 
 
 
 

 


 

 

 

9
Nova has revenue-sharing agreement with student loan provider
By Kimberly Miller

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nova Southeastern University, the largest private college in Florida, has a revenue sharing agreement with one of its preferred student loan providers and contracts with the company to staff its student call centers, according to papers released today by the state.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum opened an investigation last month into how student loan providers get on schools' preferred lender lists and other questionable practices following a national inquiry spearheaded by the New York State Attorney General's Office.
 
McCollum and New York's Andrew Cuomo held a news conference this afternoon asking the U.S. Senate to support the national Student Loan Sunshine Act, which the duo said would protect students from quid pro quo arrangements between schools and lenders.

Cuomo said 32 attorney generals nationwide signed a letter of support. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation last month.

"We are urging them to pass a law that would stop on a national basis the student loan scandals that we have found across the country," Cuomo said. "The level of abuse has surprised everyone."

While McCollum said Florida's transgressions were less severe than what was found in other areas of the country, he is supporting the legislation and working on a university code of conduct with Florida's Board of Governors - the public university oversight board.

Several universities nationwide have already signed Cuomo's "College Loan Code of Conduct," which prevents colleges from receiving anything of value to put a lender on a preferred list. Schools also are prohibited from steering students to certain lenders, and lenders are not allowed to have employees work in school financial aid call centers.

A handful of schools have also agreed to refund students money they received from lenders for loan business.

The 26,000-student Nova Southeastern University is the only Florida school to be questioned by McCollum and receive a subpoena from New York.

Nova is also the only Florida university in the top 10 U.S. News & World Report rankings for student debt with 62 percent of graduates carrying an average $26,658 in school loan debt.

Nova attorney Thomas Panza said he believes New York targeted Nova because of the number of students who take out loans for its graduate and professional programs.

Panza said school officials are willing to sign a code of conduct, and plan to terminate the contract with loan company Sallie Mae where its employees work in Nova's student loan call center.

Panza downplayed the revenue sharing agreement where students can extend their loan payments for a fee that is divided between Sallie Mae and Nova.

"That practice is such a small thing," Panza said. "It's very few students. Nova isn't doing anything wrong."
 

 

 
 

 

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