What Took Place This Week in Education

Thunderbird Alumi Say No to Laureate

Over 1,900 people have signed an alumni petition opposing a partnership between the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Laureate Education, calling it “a selling out of the Thunderbird name [that will] cheapen the value of the degree.”

The alumni petition calls the partnership “short-sighted and ill-advised,” adding that it will cause “permanent and irreparable harm to the Thunderbird brand, ranking, and academic reputation.” Thunderbird’s full-time MBA program is ranked No. 45 in the most recent Bloomberg Businessweek ranking and No. 88 by U.S. News & World Report.

Sallie Mae to Split in Half

The New York Times reported that the nation’s largest private student lender, Sallie Mae will be split in half amid concerns from federal authorities and consumer advocates that graduates hobbled by debt are increasingly falling behind on their payments.

One company, the education-loan management business, will contain about 95% of the student loan giant’s assets, including $118.1 billion in federal loans and $31.6 billion of private loans. The other, fashioned as a consumer-banking business, will make student loans to fill the demand from borrowers.

Student loans, according to the Department of Education, are defaulting at a rate of 13.4%, the highest in a decade, which has federal authorities, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, worried that lenders will again ignore lending standards and target those that can not repay their loans.

Students in Need Receive Awards

The Imagine America Foundation (IAF) has announced that select students attending career colleges nationwide have been awarded the2013 Adult Excellence Award. In order to receive the financial assistance, students had to have a cumulative 3.5 or higher GPA and a 95% or higher attendance record. The Adult Excellence Award was developed to provide financial assistance to students who are attending participating Imagine America institutions through its Adult Skills Education Program (ASEP). In addition to the $1,000 ASEP award, Adult Excellence Award recipients received another $500 toward their tuition.

“These students took the financial assistance we initially provided and did something fantastic,” said Robert L. Martin, President/CEO of IAF. “This is the type of student we have in mind when we talk about helping the next generation of leaders meet their career goals. That’s what the Imagine America Foundation is all about.”

By Marc Apple