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  • College Students ‘Subprimed’ | MASSPIRG Students
    college degree and it is critical that private student loans are covered by the agency Williams noted on Tuesday Subpriming Students also finds that the over 2 million students attending for profit colleges could fall prey to aggressive marketing of private loans made directly by these colleges Direct institutional loans increase enrollment at for profit schools but at a high cost to students Unfortunately a loophole in the House version of the bill to create the CFPA would exempt these risky institutional private loans from CFPA regulation This is especially worrisome given that students attending for profit colleges have higher average debt levels than those at public colleges 32 650 versus 17 700 Almost any school or company can offer a high cost student loan and market it Lacking regulation the products are hazardous Interest rates on private student loans can be three times as high as rates on federal loans and fees can be pegged at almost 10 percent of the loan principal Subpriming Students adds Last year almost 2 out of every 3 private loan borrowers did not reach the federal Stafford student loan limit before taking out a costlier private loan 26 percent took out no Stafford loans at all Students throughout the country are facing high tuition now and shaky job prospects at graduation Williams said Providing security to students requires strong rules for private student loan marketing as well as terms and conditions Only a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency can do the job he concluded Click here to obtain a copy of Subpriming Students Why We Need a Strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency Subpriming Students Why We Need a Strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency was co released by U S PIRG the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups the United States Students Association

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/news/sp/college-students-%E2%80%98subprimed%E2%80%99 (2016-04-29)
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  • The Cost of College Will Soar if Interest Rates Allowed to Double | MASSPIRG Students
    a college degree At a time when tuition is rising at 8 3 percent a year and median wages for young people are falling young Americans and their families can ill afford more Washington inaction If Congress allows the interest rate to increase 7 4 million students will see their college costs go up about one out of every three college students in the country The increase will cost the average college student about 1 000 more per year of school As a result the cost of college for the average borrower taking out full Subsidized Stafford Loans will increase by 20 percent next year This increase comes at a time when American families are already struggling financially and having a college degree is more important than ever before Given the importance placed on a college education and the significance of higher education to a nation s economic competitiveness it is unsurprising that in a recent poll 92 percent of young Democrats and 78 percent of young Republicans say that increasing financial aid and making loans more affordabl for college would help make the economy stronger About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Chapters Berkshire Community College Fitchburg State University Holyoke Community College Mass College of Liberal Arts MassBay Community College Middlesex Community College North Shore Community College Salem State University UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth UMass Lowell Westfield State University Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus Internships Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campaigns Make Textbooks Affordable 100 Renewable Energy Stop Overuse of Antibiotics Get Big Money out of Politics New Voters Project Hunger and Homelessness Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports DONATE Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/reports/cost-college-will-soar-if-interest-rates-allowed-double (2016-04-29)
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  • Transportation and the New Generation | MASSPIRG Students
    have historically made massive investments in new highway capacity on the assumption that driving will continue to increase at a rapid and steady pace The changing transportation preferences of young people and Americans overall throw those assumptions into doubt The time has come for transportation policy to reflect the needs and desires of today s Americans not the worn out conventional wisdom from days gone by The recession has played a role in reducing the miles driven in America especially by young people People who are unemployed or underemployed have difficulty affording cars commute to work less frequently if at all and have less disposable income to spend on traveling for vacation and other entertainment The trend toward reduced driving however has occurred even among young people who are employed and or are doing well financially America has long created transportation policy under the assumption that driving will continue to increase at a rapid and steady rate The changing transportation preferences of young people and Americans overall throw that assumption into doubt Policy makers and the public need to be aware that America s current transportation policy dominated by road building is fundamentally out of step with the transportation patterns and expressed preferences of growing numbers of Americans It is time for policy makers to consider the implication of changes in driving habits for the nation s transportation infrastructure decisions and funding practices and consider a new vision for transportation policy that reflects the needs of 21st century America About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Chapters Berkshire Community College Fitchburg State University Holyoke Community College Mass College of Liberal Arts MassBay Community College Middlesex Community College North Shore Community College Salem State University UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth UMass Lowell Westfield State University Get Involved Take Action Volunteer

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/reports/transportation-and-new-generation (2016-04-29)
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  • A Track Record of Success | MASSPIRG Students
    rail stations experienced a 2 7 percent increase in overall economic activity compared with the rest of the region Office space in the vicinity of highspeed rail stations in France and northern Europe generally fetches higher rents than in other parts of the same cities The city of Lyon experienced a 43 percent increase in the amount of office space near its high speed rail station following the completion of a high speed rail link to Paris Property values near stations on Japan s Shinkansen network have been estimated to be 67 percent higher than property values further away Several cities have used high speed rail as the catalyst for ambitious urban redevelopment efforts The city of Lille France used its rail station as the core of a multi use development that now accommodates 6 000 jobs The new international high speed rail terminal at London s St Pancras station is the centerpiece of a major redevelopment project that will add 1 800 residential units as well as hotels offices and cultural venues in the heart of London High speed rail has increased overall travel in corridors in Spain and France and the number of one day business trips in South Korea Increases in overall travel indicate that high speed rail is having an impact on broader economic decisions and improve the chances that high speed rail lines can recoup their overall costs High speed rail can expand labor markets and increase the potential for face to face interactions that create value in the growing knowledge economy A British study projects that the construction of the nation s first high speed rail line will lead to more than 26 billion in net economic benefits over the next 60 years High speed rail lines generally cover their operating costs with fare revenues In the United States a financially sustainable high speed rail system will likely not require operating subsidies from taxpayers although public funding is essential to getting the system up and running High speed rail service generates enough operating profit that it can subsidize other less profitable intercity rail lines in countries such as France and Spain as well as in the U S Northeast Two high speed rail lines the French TGV line between Paris and Lyon and the original Japanese Shinkansen line from Tokyo to Osaka have covered their initial costs of construction through fares Properly planned high speed rail can encourage sustainable land use and development patterns In the United States focusing new development around highspeed rail stations can reduce pressure to develop in far flung areas reducing other infrastructure costs such as for sewers and electricity By creating new centers of commerce and activity high speed rail stations can create new opportunities for riders to travel by public transportation by bike or on foot Cities throughout Europe have paired the arrival of high speed rail with expansion of local public transportation options in some cases using new high speed rail lines to bolster local commuter rail

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/reports/in/track-record-success (2016-04-29)
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  • Road Work Ahead | MASSPIRG Students
    state policies which should provide strong guidance in the wise use of taxpayer dollars often fail to achieve the proper balance between building new infrastructure and taking care of what we already have built To fix our roads and bridges America first must fix our transportation policies To counteract the tendencies to neglect repair and maintenance we must adopt strong fix it first rules that give priority to maintenance of our existing roads and bridges set national goals for the condition of our transportation system and hold state governments accountable for achieving results Road Work Ahead describes how America s roads and bridges are in disrepair bringing together a wide variety of statistics and sources with state by state analysis It shows how special interest pressure tilts the playing field toward the construction of new and ever wider highways at the expense of repair and maintenance U S transportation policy fails to properly emphasize highway and bridge maintenance with federal transportation policies allocating vast amounts of money to the states with little direction and no accountability and with Congressional earmarks further tilting spending away from maintenance State transportation funding policies are often similarly short sighted focusing on the creation of politically popular new highways rather than maintaining existing roads and bridges Spending more money on transportation won t fix America s roads and bridges without a top to bottom shift in funding priorities and policies The report s recommendations include ways to Make highway and bridge maintenance a national priority Reorganize federal highway programs to focus exclusively on either maintenance or new construction Require states receiving federal aid to plan for future maintenance before building new roads Measure performance the right way Reward states for good performance on national objectives Create fix it first policies in the states as well

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/reports/in/road-work-ahead (2016-04-29)
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  • The Right Track | MASSPIRG Students
    state s biggest attractions Florida is also seeking to restore rail service along its east coast providing new service to important coastal destinations The Gulf Coast states are pursuing the restoration of passenger rail service east of New Orleans that was disrupted after Hurricane Katrina Over the long term the states are looking to build a modern passenger rail network with links between New Orleans and Baton Rouge to the north Houston to the west Birmingham to the northeast and the Florida Panhandle to the east The proposed Texas T Bone high speed rail network would serve as a core for improved passenger rail service throughout the South Central region The T Bone network running from Dallas to San Antonio and east to Houston would serve fast growing metropolitan areas with more than 15 million residents Additional connections would include high speed service between Texas Oklahoma City and Tulsa and an eventual high speed rail connection with Little Rock The rapidly growing Southwest trails other regions in planning for high speed rail but has several potential corridors for new service including potential lines serving Denver Colorado s Front Range Phoenix Tucson and Las Vegas The Midwest already has extensive rail lines which states are seeking to modernize creating a regional network of efficient passenger rail routes with Chicago as the hub St Louis Kansas City Cleveland Detroit Milwaukee Madison and Minneapolis St Paul would all enjoy convenient connections with Chicago and each other with a revitalized regional rail system Building the system is estimated to create over 152 000 person years of work and 57 000 permanent jobs In the Pacific Northwest ridership on Amtrak s Cascades line between Eugene Portland Seattle and Vancouver B C has increased eight fold over the past 15 years Further improvements to the line will reduce travel time and add round trips attracting more than 3 million passengers a year and relieving congestion on crowded Interstate 5 California s high speed rail system one of the most comprehensive and modern networks planned in the United States will be a big step forward in addressing the state s problems with traffic and air pollution The network will provide the efficient travel between California s major cities that the state s large population and economy require with multiple trains per hour stopping in all of the state s largest cities and traveling at top speeds over 200 mph Recent investments in passenger rail have already paid off in higher ridership Over the last decade Amtrak ridership has increased by 26 percent with an additional 5 6 million passengers per year riding intercity rail Despite the economic downturn Amtrak served a record number of riders in the last three months of 2009 Ridership on regional commuter rail lines has increased as well The creation of near high speed service between Boston and Washington D C has resulted in rail capturing nearly half of the air rail travel market in the Northeast Corridor Initiation of 110 mph service

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/reports/in/right-track (2016-04-29)
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  • Berkshire CC Fall 2011 Accomplishments | MASSPIRG Students
    affordable solutions The tour collected 10 000 petition signatures and was featured in 100 news stories By joining together and funding MASSPIRG here at Berkshire Community College we ve been able to bring about some great results Thanks for your support Of course there s still a lot to be done on all of our campaigns I m excited for next semester Thanks Emily Borden Berkshire Community College Add new comment About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Chapters Berkshire Community College Fitchburg State University Holyoke Community College Mass College of Liberal Arts MassBay Community College Middlesex Community College North Shore Community College Salem State University UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth UMass Lowell Westfield State University Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus Internships Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campaigns Make Textbooks Affordable 100 Renewable Energy Stop Overuse of Antibiotics Get Big Money out of Politics New Voters Project Hunger and Homelessness Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports DONATE Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Blog Posts by Campaign Make

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/blogs/latest-news/ma/accomplishments-9 (2016-04-29)
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  • UMASS Boston Fall 2011 Accomplishments | MASSPIRG Students
    Banquet with 50 people in attendance to raise awareness about homelessness in the Boston area Joining the Textbook Rebellion a national tour to raise awareness about the high cost of textbooks and affordable solutions The tour collected 10 000 petition signatures and was featured in 100 news stories Supporting Massachusetts recycling by collecting 10 000 signatures over 700 from here on campus asking the state legislature to update the Bottle Bill Building more energy efficient communities by educating Dorchester elementary school students about energy use and conservation By joining together and funding MASSPIRG here at UMB we ve been able to bring about some great results Thanks for your support Of course there s still a lot to be done on all of our campaigns I m excited for next semester Thanks Hannah UMass Boston Add new comment About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Chapters Berkshire Community College Fitchburg State University Holyoke Community College Mass College of Liberal Arts MassBay Community College Middlesex Community College North Shore Community College Salem State University UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth UMass Lowell Westfield State University Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus Internships Start a PIRG Chapter Full Time Jobs Campaigns Make Textbooks Affordable 100 Renewable Energy Stop Overuse of Antibiotics Get Big Money out of Politics New Voters Project Hunger and Homelessness Newsroom Latest Updates Blog News Releases PIRG in the News Reports DONATE Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Blog Posts by Campaign Make Textbooks Affordable Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness Make Textbooks Affordable Make Textbooks Affordable New Voters Project Newsroom Blog Media Hits News Releases Reports Resources MASSPIRG Students in Action North Shore student Kaitlyn Heathman

    Original URL path: http://masspirgstudents.org/blogs/latest-news/ma/umass-boston-fall-2011-accomplishments (2016-04-29)
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