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Daily Archives: December 4, 2013

Student Debt and the Class of 2012

Student Debt and the Class of 2012 is our eighth annual report on the cumulative student loan debt of recent graduates from four-year colleges. Our analysis finds that the debt levels of students who graduate with loans continue to rise, with considerable variation among states as well as among colleges. Seven in 10 college seniors who graduated in 2012 had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 for those with loans. The national share of seniors graduating with loans rose in recent years, from 68 percent in 2008 to 71 percent in 2012, while their debt at graduation increased by an average of six percent per year. Even though the financial crisis caused a substantial decline in private education lending while these borrowers were in school, about one-fifth (20%) of their debt is comprised of private loans, which are typically more costly and provide fewer consumer protections and repayment options than safer federal loans. State averages for debt at graduation ranged widely in 2012, from $18,000 to $33,650, and graduating seniors’ likelihood of having debt ranged from 41 percent to 78 percent. In five states, average debt was more than $30,000. High-debt states remain concentrated in the Northeast and Midwest, with low-debt states mainly in the West and South. See page 4 for state-by-state debt figures. Average debt varies even more at the college level than at the state level, from $4,450 to $49,450. Colleges with higher costs tend to have higher average debt, but there are many examples of high-cost colleges with low average debt, and vice versa. For more about debt at the college level, including lists of high- and low-debt schools, see page. It is important to note that the state and college debt figures in this report reflect only graduates of public and private nonprofit four-year colleges, because so few for-profit colleges choose to report  the necessary data. Every four years, including 2012, a federal survey collects the data needed to calculate national debt figures for new graduates of all types of colleges. However, this survey does not provide state- or college-level data, and colleges are not required to report their own graduates’ debt. That is why we use data provided voluntarily by many public and nonprofit colleges to estimate state averages and identify high- and low-debt schools. The vast majority of the Class of 2012 graduated from public and nonprofit colleges. Nationally, 68 percent of 2012 graduates of public and private nonprofit four-year colleges had student debt, with an average of $27,850 per borrower. These are lower than the overall national figures because they do not include for-profit college graduates, who are more likely to borrow and graduate with more debt…The limitations of relying on voluntarily reported data underscore the need for federal collection of student debt data for all schools. Even for colleges that do report voluntarily, the debt figures in  the report may understate actual borrowing because they do not include transfer students or any private loans the college was unaware of. The report’s state estimates are based on the available college-level data, so actual state averages may be higher as well.”

New Report Calls for Attention to Abrupt Impacts From Climate Change, Emphasizes Need for Early Warning System

“Climate change has increased concern over possible large and rapid changes in the physical climate system, which includes the Earth’s atmosphere, land surfaces, and oceans.  Some of these changes could occur within a few decades or even years, leaving little time for society and ecosystems to adapt.  A new report from the National Research Council extends thisContinue Reading

The Verge – Oldest ever human DNA found in Spain, raises new questions about evolution

Jacob Kastrenakes: “A fossil discovered in a Spanish cave has given researchers the oldest human DNA found to date. According to The New York Times, the DNA comes from a femur bone and is believed to be around 400,000 years old. But while it’s helping to shed light on early human evolution, it’s actually making matters more complicated.Continue Reading

2013 IT Trust Curve study

“The 2013 IT Trust Curve study surveyed 3,200 respondents to assess their organizations’ IT maturity levels and ability to withstand and quickly recover from disruptive incidents such as unplanned downtime, security breaches, and data loss…Today’s business environment is both ripe with opportunity and fraught with risk. This dichotomy is revealing itself in the world ofContinue Reading

CRS – Veterans and Homelessness

Veterans and Homelessness – Libby Perl, Specialist in Housing Policy, November 29, 2013 “The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and as the number of veterans increases due to these conflicts,Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Board Beige Book – December 4, 2013

Beige Book – December 4, 2013: “Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that the economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace from early October through mid-November. Activity in the New York, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and Dallas Districts grew at a moderate pace, while Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City, andContinue Reading

FTC Issues FY 2013 National Do Not Call Registry Data Book

News release: ” The Federal Trade Commission today issued the National Do Not Call Registry Data Book for Fiscal Year 2013. The FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry lets consumers choose not to receive telemarketing calls. In its fifth year of publication, the Data Book contains a wealth of information about the Registry for FY 2013 (fromContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – National Mediation Board, VA Health Care

NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD – Strengthening Planning and Controls Could Better Facilitate Rail and Air Labor Relations, GAO-14-5, Dec 3, 2013 VA HEALTH CARE – Improvements Needed in Processes Used to Address Providers’ Actions That Contribute to Adverse Events, GAO-14-55, Dec 3, 2013

The Distribution Of Household Income And Federal Taxes, 2010

CBO: “The increase in the nation’s economic activity in 2010 affected households’ income, federal tax liabilities, and federal tax rates. In this report, CBO presents its estimates of the distribution of household income and federal taxes in 2010, and it compares those estimates with estimates for the preceding three decades. The report also discusses theContinue Reading

New Revelations – NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show

Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani – Washington Post: “The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have beenContinue Reading