Student debt

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Chiera attends Menendez roundtable on PSLF

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera on Aug. 1 was among the participants in a roundtable discussion about public service loan forgiveness held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.

The roughly 45-minute event was led by Sen. Bob Menendez, who in his opening remarks mentioned the PSLF Payment Completion Fairness Act, a bipartisan bill he’s behind that was introduced in late April.…

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Murphy touts PSLF program’s availability, expanded eligibility

Gov. Phil Murphy on May 23 led a roundtable discussion about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, describing it as “a gem, but in many cases, a hidden gem.”

The PSLF program, Murphy explained, “allows people working throughout the public or nonprofit sectors to have that service credited against their outstanding federal student loans.…

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Weingarten v. DeVos settled; AFT taps online resource Summer to navigate PSLF process

The 2019 lawsuit Weingarten v. DeVos, filed by AFT President Randi Weingarten, the AFT and eight other plaintiffs against then-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education, was settled Oct. 12.

At the root of the lawsuit was holding DeVos and the Department of Education accountable for “gross mismanagement” of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which was established under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007.…

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AFTNJ NewsStudent debt

AFT members can simplify student debt with Summer online platform

The American Federation of Teachers is providing its members with a free subscription to Summer, a trusted online platform that can help simplify and navigate student loan situations.

By using Summer’s online student loan management platform, AFT members can enroll in income-driven repayment plans, complete the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Employment Certification Form and find other options for loan forgiveness programs, among other benefits.…

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My salary at Rutgers was so low I had to declare bankruptcy at age 27, teaching assistant says

Alexandra A. Adams, Star-Ledger Guest Columnist

Although we narrowly avoided going on a teaching strike at Rutgers University, it has become clear that central administration does not recognize the tremendous value that teaching assistants like me — and graduate workers in general — actually bring to students and the future of the institution. I find it incredibly saddening that the opportunity to provide a public service in research and education is typically accompanied by incurring a tremendous amount of debt and— at least in my case — going bankrupt.…

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Bargaining for the Common Good Rally

American Federation of Teachers​ EVP Mary Cathryn Ricker​ and Rutgers AAUP-AFT​ Pres Deepa Kumar​ talk to students at Rutgers University​ about union principles and values with Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops Local 109​ calling for a #FightFor15. Kick off to #ItsAboutFreedom Day of Action for Collective Bargaining AFL-CIO​ #1u #Unrigthesystem #solidarity…

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Rutgers students, workers march to demand $15 minimum wage on campus

Alexis Johnson, NJ Advance Media for

Hundreds of Rutgers students and unionized employees rallied Friday in a continued push for higher wages for all campus workers.


Members of Rutgers’ faculty union, the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers, also attended the rally. They pledged to stand in solidarity with the students while also fighting for union workers’ rights.…

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Nick Yovnello Social Justice Scholarship Winners: Students Confront Campus Rape Culture, Anti-LGBTQ and Anti-Muslim Bias

Scholarship winners Amanda Gonzalez and Maryam Sarhan tell the stories of their activism. Amanda, Maryam and Kelsea Rowan were honored as recipients of Nick Yovnello Social Justice Scholarships for confronting campus rape culture, anti-Muslim bias and promoting acceptance of LGBTQ students and organizations.

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EOF program sees extra million after state budget is passed

By Manuel Silva-Paulus

The Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program has reversed cuts to the program proposed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and has received an additional one million dollars in funding.

After the increase was approved, the funds were frozen and not made available until Sept. 20 due to Executive Order 209 signed by Christie, said Michelle Shostack, assistant dean and director of the School of Arts Sciences EOF program.…

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Those Hidden College Fees

By Rochelle Sharpe


So where does all this money go?

At Rutgers, the local teachers union got hold of budget records detailing what happened in recent years with the university’s $170 dance appreciation course fee.

The fee was supposed to help defray the costs of visiting artists and performance tickets, but one year $125,685 went toward building renovations, and another year $399,000 was used to buy and improve equipment.…

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To make college affordable, help students graduate faster, N.J. panel says

By Jonathan Lai, Staff Writer

A college degree in New Jersey is too expensive and often takes too long to complete, and many families have little understanding of the full cost and options available.

That’s the picture painted by a report released this week by a panel created by the Legislature to study college affordability in New Jersey.…

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N.J. needs to spend more on higher education, change student loan programs, panel says

By Patricia Alex, Staff Writer, The Record.

New Jersey needs to spend more money on higher education, make changes to its student loan programs and allow for new ways students can more quickly earn degrees, according to a state panel.

The recommendations are contained in a report set to be released Wednesday by a commission charged with looking at ways to make college more affordable in the state, which has the fourth highest public tuition and fees in the nation, averaging more than $13,000 a year.…

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