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Writing and Reporting by Jenna Duncan

Archive for June 2009

Student loans changed

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Published on June 30, 2009 in The Huntington News

Effective today, college graduates who have to pay back student loans have a new option for repayment.

The United States Department of Education developed a plan in which students repay federal loans based on how much they make after graduation.

According to a June 29 New York Times article, the income repayment plan limits what the borrowers have to pay to 15 percent of the difference between their gross income and 150 percent of poverty guidelines, which is $10,830 a year for an individual in 2009.

Additionally, the balance of the loan is forgiven after 10 years of payments and employment for students who take public service jobs. This would include nonprofit organizations, government employees and teachers.

The balance will also be forgiven if the borrowers make all payments on time for 25 years.

If a borrower is unemployed, the program allows leniency, letting borrowers without work to defer payments for up to 3 years.

Senior psychology major Alex Edwards said he did not expect to make a lot of money upon graduation, but he was skeptical as to the practicality of the plan. He said he didn’t understand who would cover the difference when people stopped paying their loans.

“I’m working two jobs now, and I barely make ends meet, so I’m thinking I’m definitely not going to be paying a lot of it right away,” he said. “It seems like a nice idea, but like most nice ideas, I still wonder if it’s going to work.”

According to a June 16 article, this was meant to encourage recent graduates to accept jobs in low-paying fields.

Director of Career Services Maria Stein said while money is a necessity, it should not change the way students decide which jobs they take.

“I don’t think loan repayment is going to change a student’s job acceptance habit,” she said. “The main factor is typically not the money. It’s whether it meets your personal and professional goals.”

Written by jdunccc

June 30, 2009 at 12:00 am

Senator’s affair leads to drop in approval

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Published on June 21, 2009 on

Following Nevada Sen. John Ensign’s Tuesday’s admittance of having an extramarital affair, his approval rating has plummeted.

A poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., only 39 percent of Nevada voters view him favorably, and a whopping 37 percent view him negatively.

In May, Las Vegas Review-Journal conducted a poll and Ensign had a 53 percent approval rating, and only 18 percent of voters viewed him negatively.

Despite this, a survey from Thursday that POLITICO reported upon, 62 percent of voters don’t think he should resign.

According to POLITICO, the affair lasted from December 2007 until August 2008 with Cynthia Hampton, a former staffer. Aids to Ensign have said that her husband Doug Hampton, who also used to work for Ensign, tried to blackmail the senator.

On Monday, Ensign will return to Washington, though his office has declined to provide details to what he will be doing.

Written by jdunccc

June 21, 2009 at 12:00 am

Posted in To The Center

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