Student Debt Industry
Education Department Adopts Crucial Reform for Disabled Borrowers

Education Department Adopts Crucial Reform for Disabled Borrowers

By Sasha Chavkin Published by ProPublica and the Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15, 2012 The Education Department enacted a crucial reform on behalf of borrowers who become disabled, issuing new rules earlier this month that make it easier for these borrowers to get their federal student loans forgiven. The rules, which the department has...
Education Department Revamps Broken Disability Review Program

Education Department Revamps Broken Disability Review Program

By Sasha Chavkin – ProPublica, July 19, 2012 The Education Department proposed new rules on Tuesday to revamp its troubled program for forgiving the federal student loans of borrowers who become disabled. The new regulations came after an investigation last year by ProPublica found that the department’s dysfunctional system for evaluating disability was keeping many...

Education Department Backs Away From Fix to Help Disabled Student Borrowers

By Sasha Chavkin ProPublica – August 29, 2011 This story was co-published with the Chronicle of Higher Education. After suffering from panic attacks and episodes of psychosis, Donita McDonald was diagnosed with a severe mental illness in 2009. She was unable to work or attend school, so the Social Security Administration declared the 21-year-old disabled....

Disabled Former Cop in Student Loan Story Gets Her Debt Forgiven

By Sasha Chavkin ProPublica – March 2, 2011 The Department of Education has finally forgiven the student debt of disabled former police officer Tina Brooks—who we featured in our Feb. 13 story about the government’s broken program for forgiving the federal student loans of borrowers who become seriously disabled. Brooks, who fractured her spine when...
Education Dept. Pledges to Overhaul Dysfunctional Disability Review Program

Education Dept. Pledges to Overhaul Dysfunctional Disability Review Program

By Sasha Chavkin ProPublica – Feb. 24, 2011 After an investigation by ProPublica last week found that the Department of Education’s bureaucratic program for forgiving the federal student loans of disabled borrowers has kept many disabled applicants in debt, the department said this week that it will overhaul the troubled program. “This system must work...
The Reform for Disabled Borrowers That the Education Dept. Refuses to Adopt

The Reform for Disabled Borrowers That the Education Dept. Refuses to Adopt

By Sasha Chavkin ProPublica – Feb. 16, 2011 On Monday, we reported on the broken Department of Education program confronting borrowers who become disabled after taking out federal student loans. Although former students who develop severe and lasting disabilities are legally entitled to get these loans forgiven, we found that they face a dysfunctional and...
Education Department Bureaucracy Keeps Disabled Borrowers in Debt

Education Department Bureaucracy Keeps Disabled Borrowers in Debt

By Sasha Chavkin, Cezary Podkul, Jeannette Neumann, and Ben Protess ProPublica — Feb. 13, 2011 Tina Brooks can’t sit or stand for more than half an hour before the pain in her lower back becomes intolerable. She suffers severe headaches and memory loss, and she has lost most of the vision in her left eye....
How Nonprofits Won Special Treatment in Student Lending Bill

How Nonprofits Won Special Treatment in Student Lending Bill

By Sasha Chavkin, Ryan Tracy and Mar Cabra Huffington Post Investigative Fund – Jan. 7, 2010 When President Obama unveiled a plan in February to overhaul the student loan industry, nonprofit lenders in dozens of states feared their business was doomed. But now those nonprofits – including some accused of previous misconduct by state and...