When your college is your banker

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Liz WillenDear reader,

Students who start behind are among those who concern us most at The Hechinger Report, as our early education reporting shows.
 
This week, our reporting spotlights more inequities. Millions of students have suffered learning loss in the pandemic, but for some special education students the problem is much worse: They are regularly sent home early as punishment for behavior issues.  
 
We also revealed the harmful practice of for-profit colleges making loans directly to students, with none of the protections that federal loans offer. It’s part a series we’re doing focused on hidden debt that, again, leaves too many students behind.
 
We hope you’ll read these stories and tell us what you think; we want to hear from our readers.

Liz Willen, Editor
 
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Main Idea 

Left in the lurch by for-profit college direct loans 

Direct school-to-student loans have ensnared hundreds of thousands of students at for-profit colleges. When students borrow directly from a college, they aren’t protected by the same government safeguards they would have if they took out federal loans. The colleges can demand payments while students are still in school. They can withhold transcripts for nonpayment. They can impose onerous interest rates, reaching into the double digits. (Published in partnership with The New York Times.) This story is part of Hidden Debt Trap, a project that will continue this kind of reporting.

👉 Get updates about this project delivered directly to your inbox and speak directly with the reporters about their work. Subscribe to our free Hidden Debt Trap newsletter.  

👉 We are taking reader questions to help us continue our reporting. Fill out the form on this page to tell us what you want us to answer next.
Reading List 

Sent home early: Lost learning in special education 

Some students with disabilities have had their school days shortened for months or years, often with devastating consequences.


Opinion: Here’s how to make sure low-income high school graduates don’t put off college indefinitely

Ideas for helping those who deferred college due to the pandemic.


PROOF POINTS: Slim research evidence for summer school

Popular policy proposal is plagued by poor attendance, quality concerns.


OPINION: How to keep our most vulnerable students from losing ground in the pandemic

Nebraska superintendent says dismantling structural and racial inequities will help.


When the man behind the curtain is female: More women now hold key education policymaker jobs

Female education staffers are newly the majority in the California legislature — now they set the culture and they say their gender matters.


COLUMN: Standardized tests aren’t the problem, it’s how we use them

Tests will tell us the extent of the damage of the last 12 months.


OPINION: Now is the time to hire and promote Asian Americans into leadership positions

Education leaders, faculty and staff must work together to develop meaningful solutions.
Solutions 
"How this Queens community built $1,000 college savings accounts for all its kids," Fast Company 

This week’s solutions section came from SolutionsU powered by Solutions Journalism Network and their database of solutions journalism. Search for more solutions.
👋 Contact Nichole Dobo at dobo@hechingerreport.org to give feedback on The Hechinger Report’s newsletters. Did you know we produce newsletters on early childhood, education research, the future of learning, higher education and the state of Mississippi? And it helps us if you recommend our newsletters to a friend. 
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