ABUSES IN STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM

 

The government’s consumer watchdog is adding its voice to a growing chorus of warnings about problems with a federal program that permits people who take public service jobs to have their student loans forgiven after a decade.

Mass production of uneducated college graduates is a result of the expansion of college education for all. Colleges exploit students and adjunct professors to serve a few tenured professors. Commencement is a vanity fair to distribute toilet paper! Those who can’t do, teach. Colleges are frauds. Ivy league schools sold their souls to Islam with huge donations from Arab princes. Many administrators rob the funds, many professors trade grades for bribes and sex, and students dumb down!  Anyone who wants to learn anything can do it much better on the Internet, without retreating to fraudulent concentration camps, called campuses. Allons enfants de la Patrie! The college bubble is just about to burst. Kids are being sold on the claim that college degrees are simply a must for future employment but this nonsense has become an artifact of history.

Confusing rules, bureaucratic tripwires and outright errors are hindering thousands of people as they try to take advantage of the program, according to a report released Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. These are people who teach, serve in the military or work for a nonprofit organization, for example.

The volume of complaints is especially alarming because the program has not yet reached its first milestone: forgiving debts. Created in 2007, the program requires borrowers to do 10 years of service before any federal student loan debt is eliminated. The first wave of qualifying borrowers can submit applications in October.

But hundreds of complaints in the last year indicate many applicants are encountering obstacles, the agency said.

Many public service jobs require increasingly high levels of education, which forces people to accrue larger debt, according to the report — even as they enter professions with traditionally low salaries. This phenomenon is why the program was established.

But then the abuses that the agency identified kick in.

Many borrowers “point to a range of student loan industry practices that delay, defer, or deny access to critical consumer protections,” Seth Frotman, the bureau’s student loan ombudsman, wrote in an introduction to the report. “The bureau is committed to monitoring the industry for key issues and illegal practices affecting borrowers who are trying to access key consumer protections so they can continue to give back to their communities.”

MBA applications always go up during a bad economy. That is because business school generally attracts people who are lost. But MBA frameworks are a bunch of academic mumbo-jumbo with little applicability. There is a deliberate useless intellectualizing of business, foisted on America by elite business schools. Using self-developed pseudo-scientific jargon, DBA eggheads manage to repackage the most glaring examples of common sense and the obvious in so much math and psychology mumbo jumbo that the uninitiated are actually fooled into thinking that something profound is going on!  Those eggheads are frauds, pure and simple.

When it comes to business, I’ll take the School of Hard Knocks over Harvard anytime. Imagine your organization missing out on the likes of Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, John Mackey, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walt Disney, Mary Kay Ash, Rachel Ray, David Neeleman, and countless others. None of them finished college. Some didn’t even finish high school! And yet all of them are among the most successful people on this planet. Business schools don’t create successful people. They simply accept them, then take credit for their success. With heavy debt loads and questionable returns, MBA programs simply aren’t a good investment, they’re a trap for the unwary.  They also attract many lazy youth looking for shortcuts and wormholes to success.

The Education Department, which oversees the program, encourages borrowers to file certifications to verify that their employment qualifies and to help them track their progress toward meeting program requirements. Some 550,000 people had been approved by the end of 2016, department data showed.

But more than 250,000 of those borrowers had not made one qualifying monthly loan payment toward the 120 required to have their loans forgiven, according to an Education Department presentation at a conference last year.

The program’s rules are unusually complicated, and require borrowers to have a specific kind of loan (a direct federal loan), to make monthly payments under one type of plan (income-driven repayment) and to work for a qualifying employer (generally a public sector organization, or a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization).

Many borrowers who expect to qualify are knocked out by technicalities, the consumer bureau found. Even paying too much can inadvertently disqualify people: Loan servicers, the companies that collect borrowers’ monthly payments, can apply excess amounts to future payments, which sometimes results in borrowers having periods in which no payment is due. Those months do not count on the repayment clock.

One nurse who contacted the consumer bureau said she was told that only 14 of the 48 payments she had made in four years qualified because she had overpaid in all of the other months.

“I feel like the last three years of my payments have been wasted,” she wrote in a complaint.

Other problems arise from outright errors, the agency found. Many borrowers complained about inaccurate payment counts.

Daniel B. Wrenne, a financial planner in Lexington, Ky., who works with dozens of people seeking loan forgiveness, said he had never had a client whose payments were calculated correctly.

He cited a case in which the borrower had been making qualifying payments for more than four years. But when the client submitted his certification, only nine payments were approved.

“I called the servicer with them and said we needed them to do an audit,” Mr. Wrenne said. “It took three months, but their conclusion was that they were wrong: He had made 49 payments that qualified.”

Education Department representatives did not respond to a request for comment on the consumer bureau’s report.

Frustrated borrowers have been pressing lawmakers to intervene. Thirty-five senators sent a letter in April to Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, complaining that the department had told some borrowers who had been given approval notices — which indicated that their jobs qualified them for loan forgiveness — that those approvals were not reliable.

That problem was overshadowed the next month, when the Trump administration federal budget proposal called for the entire program to be eliminated.

Since WWII, college has falsely been sold as the guarantee of better employment and higher salaries. But the costs outweigh the benefits. There are several problems with college today, not the least of which is its exorbitant costs. Kids are graduating sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, a debt many won’t be able to satisfy for decades. Some will never pay it all off. The result is that the costs are fast outweighing the benefits and it won’t be long before people just stop indulging this pointless waste of time and money and will just start to go right into the work force out of High School.

Essay mills seduce gullible desperate students with a rubbish product. Responsibility for that lies with college practice and government policy. Fierce competition between colleges for customers has led to the admission of some students who struggle to write a postcard, never mind an essay. They plagiarize, copy and paste, as many have been taught to do at secondary schools obsessed with their positions in league tables.

Ultimately, students may feel less ripped off by essay mills than by colleges. Prospectuses promise a collegial atmosphere, an unforgettable student experience and unrivaled preparation for a rewarding career. In reality, college managers are running a no-frills, bums-on-seats business with costs pared to the bone and tight control imposed on academics by performance measures. Student satisfaction is purchased with lax academic standards: Eighty per cent of undergraduates can now expect to graduate with excellent grades.  They bribed their professors with excellent evaluations of their teaching methods!

Essay mills provide extensive interaction with writers, turning the construction of essays into the kind of social exercise with which modern students are comfortable. Their existence is nothing more than an indicator of the rot in colleges. Eliminating them, even were this possible, would do nothing to address the basic problems: that neither students nor colleges are much concerned with learning, and that the government either has not noticed or does not care.

 

Colleges now are not education centers, but mating and entertainment centers. Then there are the useless degrees, pure toilet paper, many kids are being fooled into achieving, packed with class work that is utterly meaningless to life or business. Classes such as black heritage, minority studies, and gay studies, these pseudo-degrees aren’t worth the sheepskins upon which they are printed. With these troubles on the horizon, employers are fast dropping requirements for degrees for all positions.

 

More than half of all recent college graduates are working in jobs that do not even require a college degree. Most Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 are either unemployed or underemployed. Most college graduates have not been able to find a job in their chosen field. In the United States today, approximately half million cashiers, half million waiters, and more than 200,000 janitors have college degrees. Only half of all law school graduates are able to find a full-time job that requires a law degree.

Parents, taxpayers, and donors have little idea of the levels of lunacy, evil and lawlessness that have become features of many of today’s institutions of higher learning. Parents, taxpayers and donors who ignore or are too lazy to find out what goes on in the name of higher education are nearly as complicit as the professors and administrators who promote or sanction the lunacy, evil, and lawlessness.

Today’s academic climate might be described as a mixture of infantilism, kindergarten, and totalitarianism. The radicals, draft dodgers and hippies of the 1960s who are now college administrators and professors are responsible for today’s academic climate. The infantilism should not be tolerated, but more important for the future of any nation are the totalitarianism and the nonsense being taught at many colleges.

Citizens should rise up against this totalitarian trend on college campuses. The most effective way to do so is to hit these campus tyrants where it hurts the most — in the pocketbook. Lawmakers should slash budgets, and donors should keep their money in their pockets.

There was a time when campus life meant dorm parties, Frisbees on the lawn and entering a world of ideas. Today’s campus, however, is a joyless, politically correct gulag where students are taught to confess their crimes of privilege and inform on fellow students.

Free speech died first on campus when the great works of literature were censored because they could be offensive, when comedians began to fear to visit because they might offend someone and when students became afraid to discuss ideas, dress up for a party or even tell a joke. Now, today’s students know that Bias Response Teams on hundreds of campuses are encouraging students to inform on each other. That a casual remark or humorous tweet could cost them their future.

Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut is another fine illustration of the contemporary state of Higher Education. Johnny Eric Williams, a professor in its sociology department, calls for letting whites die! Another exhibit of academic rot! Removing him would be like removing one cockroach from an infestation and thinking that the problem is solved. The pressure that is now being brought upon Williams must be brought by the public upon the whole Academic Industrial Complex, for Williams’ view is but a variant of the intellectually vapid and morally toxic ideology that dominates academia today.

Honorable universities such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Stanford University, and Rice University, do not award honorary degrees as a matter of policy. The University of Virginia (founded in 1819) was the first US university to explicitly have a policy of not awarding honorary degrees at the behest of its founder, Thomas Jefferson. In 1845, dean of faculty William Barton Rogers vigorously defended this policy; in 1861, he founded MIT in Boston and continued this practice.

Colleges grant honorary degrees in exchange for large donations, influence, or publicity. It’s a form of prostitution, pure and simple! They are selling their souls in a ridiculous manner. Even Harvard, the richest university on Earth, kowtows to Islam for more petrodollars! Honorary degree recipients, particularly those who have no prior academic qualifications, have sometimes been criticized if they insist on being called Doctor as a result of their award, as the honorific may mislead the general public about their qualifications. It can be similarly misleading when respected individuals are referred to as Professor, especially in a university or government context.

The awarding of an honorary degree to political figures can prompt protests from faculty or students. In 2001, George W. Bush received an honorary degree from Yale University where he had earned his bachelor’s degree in history in 1968. Some students and faculty chose to boycott the university’s 300th commencement. Andrew Card, who served as Bush’s Chief of Staff from 2001–2006, ultimately chose not to speak when the University of Massachusetts-Amherst awarded him an honorary degree in 2007, in response to protests from students and faculty at the commencement ceremonies.

In 1985, as a deliberate snub, the University of Oxford voted to refuse Margaret Thatcher an honorary degree in protest against her cuts in funding for higher education. This award had previously been given to all prime ministers who had been educated at Oxford.

In 2005 at the University of Western Ontario, Henry Morgentaler, a gynecologist involved in a legal case decriminalizing abortion in Canada (R. v. Morgentaler), was made an honorary Doctor of Laws. Over 12,000 signatures were acquired asking the UWO to reverse its decision to honor Dr. Morgentaler. Several protest rallies were held, including one on the day the honorary degree was bestowed (a counter petition to support Morgentaler’s degree gained 10,000 signatures).

Few people object when an honorary degree is awarded in a field that the awardee is noted for. McGill University’s decision to grant musician Joni Mitchell an honorary Doctor of Music in 2004 was unopposed, although it was timed to coincide with a symposium about Mitchell’s career.

In 1996, Southampton College at Long Island University (now a campus of SUNY Stony Brook) awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters to Muppet Kermit the Frog. Although some students objected to awarding a degree to a Muppet, Kermit delivered an enjoyable commencement address and the small college received considerable press coverage. The degree was conferred in recognition of efforts in the area of environmentalism. Said the university: “His theme song, ‘It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green,’ has become a rallying cry of the environmental movement. Kermit has used his celebrity to spread positive messages in public service announcements for the National Wildlife Federation, National Park Service, the Better World Society, and others.”

The Philosophy Faculty at Cambridge courted controversy amongst the academic community in March 1992, when three of its members posed a temporary veto against the awarding of an honorary doctorate to Jacques Derrida; they and other non-Cambridge proponents of analytic philosophy protested against the granting on the grounds that Derrida’s work did not conform with accepted measures of academic rigor. Although the University eventually passed the motion, the episode did more to draw attention to the continuing antipathy between the analytic (of which Cambridge’s faculty is a leading exponent) and the post-Hegelian continental philosophical traditions (with which Derrida’s work is more closely associated).

In 2007, protesters demanded that the University of Edinburgh revoke an honorary degree awarded to Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe in 1984. The University subsequently revealed plans to review its honorary degree policy and strip certain figures of their honorary degrees who did not deserve them. When considering revoking the honorary degree of a political figure, such reasons as human rights abuse or political corruption would be considered. As a result, it was announced that Mugabe had been stripped of his honorary degree. The University also planned to have a more rigorous selection procedure regarding potential recipients of honorary degrees, in an attempt to rectify the trend of awarding degrees to celebrities. Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst also asked the university to revoke the honorary degree that was awarded to Mugabe over twenty years ago, and on June 12, 2008 the trustees unanimously rescinded Robert Mugabe’s honorary degree. Michigan State University has also rescinded its honorary degree.

In April 2009, Arizona State University’s President Michael M. Crow refused to give an honorary degree to US President Barack Obama for his lack of adequate qualifying achievements thus far. Also, controversy was ignited about Notre Dame awarding Obama an honorary degree, as the institution is Roman Catholic and Obama holds pro-choice views on abortion and supports embryonic stem cell research.

In February 2012, Rosmah Mansor, the wife of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak was controversially awarded an honorary doctorate by the Curtin University for services to childhood education. The university honored Rosmah for founding and driving the Permata early childhood centrers in Malaysia although some alumni and students contended that the government-funded centers are an abuse of taxpayers’ money.

Between 1985 and 2014, dozens of colleges and universities awarded honorary degrees to Bill Cosby, who became widely accused of serial rape in 2014 and 2015. Because of the sheer number of allegations; an unsealed 2005 court deposition in which Cosby admitted to giving drugs to women he wanted to have sex with; and an increasing movement for universities to send strong no-tolerance messages about sexual violence, nearly 20 colleges and universities have rescinded his honorary degrees, many of which had never previously enacted such a measure.

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