Student financial aid (1 - 10 of 200 items)
Student Loans: Oversight of Servicemembers' Interest Rate Cap Could Be Strengthened
GAO-17-4: Published: Nov 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2016.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides servicemembers with an interest rate cap of 6 percent on student loans while they are on active duty. The number of servicemembers with federal student loans who received this rate cap increased as a result of the Department of Education (Education) requiring federal loan servicers to regularly use the Department of Defense's (DOD) SCRA website t...
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...
Federal Student Loans: Key Weaknesses Limit Education's Management of Contractors
GAO-16-196T: Published: Nov 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 18, 2015.
The Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid's (FSA) instructions and guidance to loan servicers are sometimes lacking, resulting in inconsistent and inefficient services to borrowers. While FSA has taken some steps to improve program instructions and guidance, six of the seven servicers GAO interviewed reported various issues resulting from absent, unclear and inconsistent guidance...
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...
Managing for Results: Selected Agencies Need to Take Additional Efforts to Improve Customer Service
GAO-15-84: Published: Oct 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 24, 2014.
GAO reviewed the customer service standards at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Forest Service, Federal Student Aid (FSA), the National Park Service (NPS), and two services in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)—disability compensation and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI). GAO found that none of the agencies' standards included all of the key elements of customer service standard...
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...