Student financial aid (1 - 10 of 134 items)
Federal Student Loans: Education Could Improve Direct Loan Program Customer Service and Oversight
GAO-16-523: Published: May 16, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2016.
The Department of Education (Education) and its contracted loan servicers provide a range of information to borrowers about their federal Direct Loans for higher education, such as repayment plans and procedures, but some borrowers GAO interviewed reported difficulties with contacting servicers through their call centers. Borrowers noted similar concerns in Education's 2014 and 2015 customer satis...
Higher Education: Actions Needed to Improve Access to Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth
GAO-16-343: Published: May 19, 2016. Publicly Released: May 19, 2016.
Available research suggests that a lower percentage of youth who have been in foster care enroll in and complete college compared to other youth, but little is known about homeless youth. While the Departments of Education (Education) and Health and Human Services (HHS) administer programs that can help them with college, Education data from 2009 (the latest available) indicate that a lower percen...
Higher Education: Better Management of Federal Grant and Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers Needed to Improve Participant Outcomes
GAO-15-314: Published: Feb 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 2015.
More than 410,000 students and teachers have participated in financial aid programs for teachers over the past decade, though GAO estimates 0.8 and 19 percent of the potentially eligible population participates in the Stafford Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant programs, respectively. GAO did not develop an estimate for Perkins...
Higher Education: Education Should Strengthen Oversight of Schools and Accreditors [Reissued on January 22, 2015]
GAO-15-59: Published: Dec 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 2014.
Over a 4-1/2-year period, accreditors—independent agencies recognized by the Department of Education (Education)—sanctioned about 8 percent of schools for not meeting accreditor standards. They terminated accreditation for about 1 percent of accredited schools, thereby ending the schools' access to federal student aid funds. Accreditors must be officially recognized by Education as reliable au...
Education and Workforce Data: Challenges in Matching Student and Worker Information Raise Concerns about Longitudinal Data Systems
GAO-15-27: Published: Nov 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2014.
Over half of 48 grantee states that received a Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) or Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant have the ability to match data on individuals from early education into the workforce, based on GAO's analysis of 2013 Data Quality Campaign (DQC) survey data. The DQC is a nonprofit organization that supports the effective use of data to improve student achie...
Higher Education: State Funding Trends and Policies on Affordability
GAO-15-151: Published: Dec 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 16, 2014.
From fiscal years 2003 through 2012, state funding for all public colleges decreased, while tuition rose. Specifically, state funding decreased by 12 percent overall while median tuition rose 55 percent across all public colleges. The decline in state funding for public colleges may have been due in part to the impact of the recent recession on state budgets. Colleges began receiving less of their...
Department of Education: Status of Prior GAO Recommendations
GAO-14-848T: Published: Sep 10, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2014.
The Department of Education (Education) has implemented 218 of the 286 recommendations GAO has made since fiscal year 2004, resulting in significant benefits and programmatic improvements. Education implemented 93 percent of recommendations made from fiscal year 2004 through 2009 within 4 years, a standard measure GAO uses to track performance, compared to the governmentwide average of around 80 p...
Federal Student Loans: Impact of Loan Limit Increases on College Prices Is Difficult to Discern
GAO-14-7: Published: Feb 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 18, 2014.
For more than a decade, college prices have been rising consistently and have continued to rise at a gradual pace after the Stafford loan limit increases were enacted in 2008 and 2009. However, it is difficult to determine if a direct relationship exists between increases in college prices and the Stafford loan limit increases because of the confluence of many other factors that occurred around th...
College Debit Cards: Actions Needed to Address ATM Access, Student Choice, and Transparency
GAO-14-91: Published: Feb 13, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 2014.
At least 852 schools, or 11 percent of U.S. colleges and universities, had agreements to provide debit or prepaid card services to their students as of July 2013, and most offered students the ability to receive federal student aid and other payments on a card. These schools were disproportionately large; their enrollments constituted about 40 percent of all postsecondary students. However, the pe...
Federal Student Loans: Borrower Interest Rates Cannot Be Set in Advance to Precisely and Consistently Balance Federal Revenues and Costs
GAO-14-234: Published: Jan 31, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 31, 2014.
Total Direct Loan administrative costs grew from $314 million to $864 million from fiscal years 2007 to 2012, but federal costs per borrower have generally remained steady or fallen. The increase in total administrative costs largely results from an increase of over 300 percent in the number of Direct Loans during that same time period. One key factor contributing to this loan volume increase was...