Friday, April 20, 2007

UWO says no more bribes from EFP

I could have posted this a couple of days ago, but UWO administrators announced that we will no longer take bribes from Educational Finance Partners.

They insist that they did nothing wrong, but I am waiting for the evidence that the EFP loans were as good as loans from other lenders. We have heard that EFP got lots of special treatment, including being the only lender mentioned in a few mailings.

Gordon Hintz, among others, has called for hearings, so we may be hearing more about this in the future.

A few people have tried to defend this action by claiming that state budget cuts drove the financial aid office to it. I don't buy this excuse at all. The university should act in the best interests of higher education and our students, regardless of financial hardships. The burden of proof has to be on us to demonstrate that the way we handle cuts is the least harmful way possible.

Taking funds from a private lender to increase their profits serves only the company and a few workers in the financial aid office. It gave the rest of us a real black eye.


Janine said...

In addition to your black eye ---- it may have caused some students a few extra thousand dollars when it is all done.

lammers said...

>>The university should act in the best interests of higher education and our students, regardless of financial hardships.<<

Yes, and birds should still fly, regardless of clipping their wings ... but it ain't a' gonna happen!

I am not saying this was a right move on the university's part. I am not defending the relationship. I was one of the ones who squawked loudest about that whole Titan Card banking relationship a couple years ago; said it'd be a cold day in Hell before I went to get a new Titan Card just so some damn bank rep could button-hole me. And I still have my original 1999-vintage Titan Card, thank you!

But I *am* saying that the vindictive parsimony of the state legislature HAS consequences. In light of their "let them eat cake attitude," relationships like this will only multiply as the need to fund programs confuses the administration's moral compass.

Bill Wresch said...

This morning's Milwaukee Journal describes the actions at UWM that may have led students to a company that charged them more than they could have gotten elsewhere.

The whole business of student loans is a bad situation and will keep some students out of college and get many students off to a rocky start after they graduate.

But the least they can expect as they sign up for these loans is that college folks are telling them the whole truth. It appears we aren't. At a minimum, the "preferred" list might include an asterisk by those companies that are paying the university to be on the list. That seems like pretty basic truth in advertising.

As for me, I hate the current atmosphere where folks seem to like to bash the university system. What makes me really mad is when we deserve it. Unfortunately, I think this is one of those times.