Notes in the Margins: France, debt-relief firms and the income barrier

Student loan rate likely to double on Monday, but lawmakers hope to reverse hikeLawmakers acknowledge that the rate on a low-interest federal loan for millions of college students in financial need is likely to double on Monday because of a congressional stalemate over how to stop that from happening. (The Washington Post)

Rite of Passage for French Students Receives Poor Grade Given the relative ease of passing the annual weeklong baccalauréat test — a French educational institution — the bac’s primary function now seems to be to identify and punish the weakest students. Indeed, the test does not function terribly effectively as a filter for higher education. In public universities here, less than half of first-year students, all of them bacheliers, move on to the second year. (The New York Times)

Only An Elite Group Of College Students Can Still Afford To Study Abroad With interest rates on student loans about to double, studying abroad has increasingly become a luxury for American college students. (The Fiscal Times via University Business)

Bridging the Income Barrier at Top Colleges A report calls for the expansion of a recent experiment aimed at persuading highly qualified low-income students to apply to top colleges. (The New York Times via NAICU)

‘Debt relief’ firms misleading student loan borrowers Firms offering student loan “debt relief” are deceiving borrowers into paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for access to free government programs, according to a recent consumer watchdog report. (CNN)