Friday, August 21, 2009

And yet another posting about the College Board

Wow. The College Board's reputation continues to worsen. After another quick search for them on Google, I found a story here about kickbacks given to financial aid directors. The College Board settled after they were probed about these kickbacks. (And if you settle, guess what that means? Uh, you're GUILTY).

Do we suspect corruption? Maybe? Hmmm? Possibly? Hmmm? Could this situation be just ONE out of hundreds and hundreds of similar situations whereby other lenders also offered or continue to offer kickbacks to promote their companies at schools?

Let's talk about some irresponsibility, and I'm obviously not referring to students who take out loans. Nope. I'm talking about good ol' fashioned corporate irresponsibility. So the yapping mouths affixed to (I oftentimes presume) non-thinking beings that decry "oh, all these students are just sooooooooooooo irresponsible" need to check that statement at the door.

When it's a Friday evening, it's raining, and football games are on, the time is ripe to search for stories about the College Board. So as I nibble on football treats, I invite you to snack on a few more tidbits about good ol' CB. WARNING! This stuff WILL cause digestive problems. But you asked for it, and so did I. Here are your heavy, greasy mind-snacks:

-"The College Board, best known for designing and administering SAT and Advance Placement tests, today settled an investigation into charges that it swapped favorable pricing for its services to colleges in exchange for the colleges favorably marketing its student loan products under the heading 'preferred lender [my emphasis] -- a category that a wide ranging probe into industry practices found was often was unrelated to any favorable loan rate."

-Often, Cuomo's office found, this was done in exchange for a fee to the college, or an inducement to the financial aid officer in the form of consulting fees, which included $70,000 harbor cruises and shares in the lender's company.

-One former financial aid director at Johns Hopkins University who cultivated a national reputation as a stickler for ethics, according to the Washington Post, "accepted more than $130,000 from eight lending industry companies during her tenure, twice as much money as previously disclosed."

-Lenders who have reached settlements include many of the names familiar from the meltdown of the banking sector: JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, National City, Sallie Mae CIT/Student Loan Xpress among them.

Oh, wow! I'm shocked. They have bedfellows!

So, again, here's my question and it's really a question for Kim Clark, that reporter who we all know now - the one who wrote that sloppy article about the College Board's findings that student debt really isn't a big deal here: Why aren't you telling your readers about these things? I realize you have word limits, but you're probably a crafty writer. I bet you could reference these things AND also mention the fact that the College Board used to be a lender in your articles. Right?

Enjoy your Friday, friends! As soon as I hear back from Ms. Clark (wink, wink), I'll be sure to share her answer.


C. Cryn Johannsen said...

The last sentence states: "The College Board for reasons unrelated to the probe is no longer a lender, although it continues to provide financial aid advisement services to students."

Yes. I am SURE they are no longer a lender as a result of the probe. I am not naive enough to think that it was the sole cause, but give me a break.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Another tidbit about CB -

Anonymous said...

Wow...Bravo!! Thank you for actually telling the truth instead of turning a blind eye to it like so many in our country love to do!

rhageman said...

When I received my first student loan, at a for profit art institute, Sallie Mae was the "preferred lender". There were a few choices, but statistically they were seemingly the same, thus why not go with the preferred lender, which the financial adviser obviously pushed for.