Harrisburg Happening

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Midtown Master Plan

Mayor Reed makes another development announcement:


Is it just me, or does anyone else think it would be nice to see one project actually happen before another is announced??

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

PHEAA's New Code of Ethics

courtesy of "anonymous"


Friday, April 13, 2007

PHEAA in the hotseat

Despite the post from a PHEAA 'insider' on this blog, it does appear that PHEAA is involved in this whole scandal - at least as far as being a 'sponsor' of a conference put together by the now seemingly tainted Widener financial aid officer:


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Welcome Sallie Mae

Gee, PHEAA has company. Sallie Mae is busy reading about PHEAA right here. Too funny.

PHEAA/AES Call to Ethics

As my readers can see from a recent post by a self=proclaimed PHEAA employee, the quasi-private, quasi-public entity doesn't like being challenged. However, until PHEAA and its business arms publicly state they are abiding by the new ethics policy proposed by Cuomo for student lenders, their explanations don't have much credibility. So here's the challenge to the poster: Do you and the agency you work for follow these simple, no-nonsense rules?

1. Ban on Financial Ties. Lenders are prohibited from giving anything of value to any college in exchange for any advantage sought by the lender. This severs any inappropriate financial arrangements between lenders and schools and specifically prohibits "revenue sharing" arrangements.
2. Ban on Payments for Preferred Lender Status. Lenders may not pay or give colleges any financial benefits whatsoever to get on a college’s preferred lender list.
3. Gift and Trip Prohibition. Lenders are prohibited from giving college employees anything of more than nominal value. This includes a prohibition on trips for financial aid officers and other college officials paid for by lenders.
4. Advisory Board Rules. Lenders are prohibited from paying college employees anything of value for serving on the advisory boards of the lenders.
5. Call-Center and Staffing Prohibition. Lenders must ensure that employees of lenders never identify themselves to students as employees of the colleges. No employee of a lender may ever work in or providing staffing assistance a college financial aid office.
6. Disclosure of Range of Rates and Defaults. Lenders must disclose to any requesting school the range of rates they charge to students at the school, the number of borrowers at each rate at the school, and the lender’s historic default rate at the school. This will ensure that schools will have the information they need to select preferred lenders who are best for students and parents.
7. Loan Resale Disclosure. Lenders shall fully and prominently disclose to students and their parents any agreements they have to sell loans to any other lender.

Source: Press Release at http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2007/apr/apr11a_07.html

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sallie Mae caves

Can PHEAA be far behind? Let the games begin . . .


Welcome AES Success

How interesting that AES Success IP addresses are showing up. More interesting still the search they did to find the blog on Cuomo and PHEAA - they googled PHEAA and came up with several blog posts, mine included, questioning where Pennsylania's Attorney General is in all this and asking for investigation.

So, are folks at AES worried, or just wasting our student loan interest dollars on web searched for press on their company?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


In case you missed the news on student lenders, consider this. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is conducting a nation-wide investigation into student loan fraud and abuse - by lenders and college financial aid officers. Sallie Mae has been subpoenaed, some lenders have agreed to reimburse students and more investigations are coming.

The major complaint - that student loan companies paid financial aid officers with exotic trips, stock options, consulting contracts and other goodies to get on the preferred lender lists - controlled, of course, by the college financial aid officers.

So, is PHEAA/AES next? Didn't they just try to defend their lavish spending by saying they have to be competitive?

This is what Cuomo said in a news conference today:

"Cuomo said various officials have been examining the issue for about a year but his investigation was spurred after a lender came to him to complain about the domination of a few lenders in the lucrative market. Cuomo would not name the lender.
''The new lenders were saying because they weren't doing the conferences, they didn't have these relationships with financial aid offices, they weren't willing to do or hadn't been doing the financial aid incentive,'' Cuomo said. ''They couldn't even compete.''"

And where is our own Pennsylvania Attorney General in all this? Why no investigation? After all, two of the colleges allready named in the New York investigation are Pennsylvania institutions - the University of Pennsylvania and Widener.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Reed Put Harrisburg on the Map

just not as far West as he thought.

In case you didn't catch it, the New York Times has a front page stories on the Reed Follies today. That's right, front page Sunday edition.

It's not a good thing.

The article is a stinging criticism of the Mayor for Life, his artifact buying sprees and the way the were financed.
I can't link to the article, as it is one of the "premium" offerings. But go to today's edition and you will be treated to a slide show featuring Reed and others.