Aid to students is a big business in the U.S. This year it comes to $18 billion dollars in bank subsidies, mainly for students in low-income families. It is customary for schools to provide an office to advise students on how and where to get the money.
Investigations by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and others have uncovered a widespread practice by lending institutions who engage in what is, in effect, bribery of school officials to win the contracts for their companies. They paid for meals, trips, cash payments, the employment of college personnel and similar perks.
Both the House and Senate took action to halt this distasteful practice. In the Senate, Edward Kennedy played a leading role in the enactment of such legislation. His bill won overwhelming approval, 78 to18. In the House of Representatives, a similar bill passed by 273 to 149.
Cuomo moved quickly to implement the legislation. As of July 21, Cuomo announced a settlement with College Loan in the sum of half a million dollars. It is the 11th settlement, and the money will go into an education fund set up by Cuomo.