Blog Archives for January 2013

Report Sheds Light on Where College Tuition Goes

January 31, 2013

Ever wonder why tuition is rising so rapidly or where all that money is going? If so, the American Institutes for Research's Delta Cost Project's reviews of trends in college spending, including the comprehensive "Trends in College Spending 1999-2009" report, are good places to start looking for answers.

Their recent update, "College Spending in a Turbulent Decade," takes a close look at how the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession had affected higher education spending by 2010.

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Fellow Friday: 50 Years of Gideon

January 25, 2013

On March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court decided unanimously that states were obligated to provide counsel for defendants who couldn’t afford an attorney. The landmark decision of Gideon v. Wainwright paved the way for the creation and expansion of the public defender system across the country, reinforcing every citizen’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Fifty years later, public defender offices are understaffed, overworked, and underfunded—putting a significant strain on the indigent defense system.

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Invest Wisely When Enrolling in Online Education

January 24, 2013

It's often said that online education can be cheaper than a traditional college setting, with many pundits predicting a future where disruptive technology helps make college affordable.

But while Silicon Valley hasn't revolutionized education yet, the number of students taking advantage of online education programs is growing rapidly. The Center for American Progress predicts that 50 percent of students in 2014 will take at least one online course. And while cost is a major factor to keep in mind when evaluating online education programs, the worth of a program is likely a combination of cost and the success of its graduates.

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Fellow Friday: AmeriCorps Legal Fellows Jamie Rodriguez and Zach Tusinger

January 18, 2013

May 22, 2011, was a day that divided Jamie Rodriguez’s life into two parts: before and after.  On that day, one of the most destructive tornadoes in US history touched down in her hometown of Joplin, Missouri, destroying 25% of the town.  A week after the tornado, Jamie returned home for one week to help with the recovery effort. She volunteered at Legal Aid of Western Missouri’s booth at a community-wide resources fair, lending her legal training to the recovery effort.  In October she moved home full time and started working as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at Legal Aid of Western Missouri.

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Meet the Author Behind the Student Loan Forgiveness Act Petition

January 17, 2013

This week, the Student Loan Ranger is pleased to interview Robert Applebaum, the cofounder and executive director of He previously founded

His most recent petition in favor of H.R. 4170, the Student Loan Forgiveness Act of 2012, generated more than one million signatures, and he was recently named one of the "Twelve Most Influential Forces in Higher Education for 2012" by the Huffington Post.

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Fellow Friday: 2010 Equal Justice Works Fellow Meghan Carter

January 11, 2013

Meghan Carter is an Equal Justice Works Fellowship alumna working at the Legal Assistance Foundation in Chicago. 

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Understand the Impact of Student Loans on Credit Scores

January 10, 2013

Given the continued rise in student debt (including six-figure student loan debt), a question the Student Loan Ranger hears a lot is, "Will my student debt have a negative impact on my credit score?"

The answer is no. In fact, it can even positively impact your score if you handle it responsibly.

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Fellow Friday: 2009 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Jennifer Ngai

January 4, 2013

Equal Justice Works has been at the forefront of the foreclosure crisis, sending Fellows into the field to help families stay in their homes and navigate the complex legal issues associated with foreclosure. In 2009, 30 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellows kept 1,086 families from losing their homes. 2009 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow Jennifer Ngai was one of those 30 Fellows.

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Student Loan Ranger: Borrowing for College Costs Can Burden Parents

January 3, 2013

It sometimes seems cliché to remind readers how fast (and high) college costs are rising and how those costs are being shifted to students, as well as to talk of the burden of borrowing to cover them.

But that burden isn't limited to students and graduates; it extends to their support networks who may be assisting with repayment or cosigning a loan. In addition to cosigning, many parents often borrow their own loans. Some parents wish to provide completely for their children's education; some wish to shoulder some of the burden. As parents, they want to help.

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