Around the industry: Student loan servicer ordered to refund $16 million

Bite-sized college and higher education industry news

  • Louisiana: Several dozen student debt activists rallied at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) conference Monday. Protestors chanted for free college and threw fake money—interrupting a parade of NASFAA members in New Orleans' French Quarter. The protestors also created a spoof Twitter account and blog (Stratford, Inside Higher Ed, 7/21).
  • New York: Adjuncts and some contingent faculty at Barnard College will be allowed to unionize after reaching an agreement last week with the institution. The bargaining unit will hold a union election this fall (Chan, Columbia Spectator, 7/17).
  • Washington, D.C.: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on Wednesday ordered Discover Bank and affiliates to refund $16 million to borrowers and pay a $2.5 million fine for illegally servicing and collecting student loans. CFPB accused Discover of harassing borrowers, inflating minimum payments, and withholding information borrowers need for tax benefits. CFPB also demanded that Discover reform its servicing practices (Lipka, "MoneyWatch," CBS News, 7/22).

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