Student Loan Repayments Based On Income

3 07 2009

student-loan1 Hurray! Starting on Wednesday, July 8, 2009 the Education Department will offer a loan      repayment plan that is based on income. I guess I can open my Direct Loan mail now.

Shouts to the Chicago Public School’s former CEO Arne Duncan for stepping up to the plate: “We know today’s borrowers are concerned about their ability to repay student loans in the current economic environment,” Arne Duncan, the education secretary, said in a statement. “This new plan addresses the issue head-on by giving them the option of a reduced monthly payment tied to their annual income.

According to the article,  New Plan Ties Reduced College Loan Payments to Income by Jonathan D. Glater, “Also on Wednesday, the interest rate on new federal Stafford loans, the most widely used federally guaranteed student loan, will drop to 5.6 percent, from 6 percent. By 2012, the rate will fall to 3.4 percent, under a schedule mandated by Congress. ”

While the reduced rates only apply to new loans, those who consolidated their loans in the past are eligible for the new repayment plan.

If you would like to calculate your payment plan, visit the Education Department’s website, Student Aid on the Web.

Read more at the NY Times.


Arts education on the fence in Chicago

3 05 2009

Schools not sure about arts education funding

As reported by Ileana Ionescu

April 23, 2009

President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan provides about $100 billion for education. Also, $10.8 billion of Governor Pat Quinn’s 2010 budget goes to state education. But no one knows how much of either will support arts programs in Chicago Public Schools.

The Illinois Arts Alliance, a non-profit advocacy organization, conducted a state assessment in 2005 in which the “results revealed some troubling findings,” according to executive director Ra Joy. Some 20 percent of surveyed principals said their schools had no arts education programs.Fortunately, Illinois has made some progress over the past four years, Joy said. The Arts and Foreign Language grant program, initiated through the Illinois Department of Education, has allocated $4 million exclusively to arts education in 2009.

However, statistics show that this may not be enough for lower income neighborhoods where education programs suffer the most. So, Chicago Public Schools have turned to non-profit organizations to provide art instructors to a school system that cannot fund them, Roche said.

Click the subhead to read more of this article.