|Parents are increasingly struggling to repay federal loans they've taken out to help cover their children's college costs, according to newly released federal data.
The Parent Plus program allows parents to take out essentially uncapped amounts to cover college costs, regardless of the borrower's income or ability to repay the loan. As the cost of college has risen, the program has become an increasingly critical workaround for families that max out on federal student loans and can't pay the rest out of pocket.
Education Department officials have long said that they simply don't have figures on how many of the loans were in default. But the agency has finally run some numbers. The data shows that default rates, while still modest, have nearly tripled over the last four years. About five percent of loans originated in fiscal year 2010 were in default three years later. The default rate at for-profit colleges is much higher, at 13 percent.
Overall, there is about $62 billion in outstanding debt from Parent Plus, according to the new data. The average Parent Plus loan borrower owes about $20,300. The Education Department compiled the numbers at the request of a government committee that is working on new rules for the program. […]
At the moment, there's no mechanism in place that even loosely ties the performance of parent-loans back to the colleges that benefitted from the borrowed dollars, the way there is for most federal loans to students.
To do that, the agency would first need to track default rates by individual colleges. A department spokeswoman said the agency doesn't calculate those figures.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Glenn Beck's ratings: Not as meteoric as people think:
|Yesterday, for some reason or another, I was curious to see how Glenn Beck had been doing in the ratings department...so I collected the ratings for each and every one of his TV broadcasts since the premiere of his show on Fox in January, 2009.
Next, I calculated the average audience size for each week that the show has been on the air, and put the numbers into a chart. (To be fair and balanced, I excluded the weeks of the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays, each of which artificially depressed Beck's numbers.)
The chart revealed something of a surprise: since Glenn Beck's ratings peak during the week ending January 22 (the week of Beck's special "Revolutionary Holocaust: Live free or die" broadcast), Beck's ratings have been on a steep slide, dropping nearly 50%.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Rep. Vance McAllister celebrates Equal Pay Day by firing his girlfriend/staffer. Greg Dworkin samples the headlines on retail medical clinics, "How politics makes us stupid," and the GOP civil war & 2016 primary jockeying. Glum turnout picture for 2014. Armando leads discussion of Jonathan Chait's latest controversial article. Barbara Comstock gives her vote to Rush, now wants congressional seat.