Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "student loans" ...

  • Who’s getting rich off your student debt?

    America’s student loan system was created in the 1960s as part of an effort to alleviate poverty and inequality. But by 2016, some 42 million Americans owed an astonishing $1.3 trillion on their student loans, and the debt load had doubled in eight years. How did a program intended to help deserving students go to college become a profit center for Wall Street, private investors, even the government? We sought to document how the nation’s student loan crisis unfolded – and who has profited from it.
  • Degree of Debt

    “Degree of Debt” is a multi-state investigation by Raycom Media that exposes one of the most crippling impacts on the U.S. economy, the virtual explosion of student debt. The numbers are staggering. Over 41 million students owe a collective $1.4 trillion; a figure that dwarfs credit card and auto loan debt combined. Of that $41 million in debt, nearly 8.1 million of those people are currently in default. According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next decade the federal government will make $81 billion in profit from student loans, over $8 billion a year. The Raycom investigative series used several federal databases along with shoe leather reporting to educate our viewers/readers on the biggest offenders and what needs to change. http://www.vimeo.com/leezurik/IREDegreeofDebt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y09_yQ9Bwo&feature=youtu.be
  • The Costs and Benefits of an Elite College Chess Team

    Did Webster University pay $1 million to bring an elite chess team from Texas Tech? The university declined to address that question, but documents obtained under Texas open records law reveal the stipulations the controversial chess coach was seeking prior to her departure from Texas Tech. After failing to negotiate her terms into a new Texas Tech contract, Polgar moved her program to Webster University. Amid back-to-back budget shortfalls, some questioned the administration’s investment in an elite chess team. Webster derives 97 percent of its revenue from tuition payments, much of which is taxpayer-funded student loans and grants.
  • Indentured Students

    In a year-long series, Bloomberg detailed how the $1 trillion in outstanding student loans has imprisoned borrowers in a lifetime of debt, enabling a host of predatory collections practices, misleading financial-aid offers and out-of-control college spending -- while politicians for decades ignored mounting danger signals.
  • Culture of Corruption in the California National Guard

    The series showed that up to $100 milion in illegal or improper incentive payments were made to California National Guard members. The reporter found that funds meant to repay student loans and give cash bonuses to draw new recruits and entice Guard members to sign on for another stint went to soldiers who didn't qualify for the benefits.
  • Self Dealing and Double Dipping in the California National Guard

    When the U.S. government decided to boost incentives for National Guard service and combat veterans, no one envisioned a system in which a single bureaucrat could approve tens of millions of payments to officers and others who probably weren't eligible. Yet these and other apparent abuses occurred in California's National Guard even after flags were raised, and they gained top-level attention only after Sacramento Bee reporter Charles Piller revealed them. As Piller reported, up to $100 million in potentially illegal or improper incentive payments were made to service members, including Guard captains and majors who knew they were ineligible for disbursements.
  • Student Loan Scandal

    The story package revealed "improper payoffs from a student loan company to college financial aid officers, as well as to a key official at the U.S. Department of Education who was in charge of overseeing the lenders that participate in the federal guaranteed student-loan program."
  • Sallie Mae

    Sallie Mae, started in 1972 as a government sponsored enterprise meant to "encourage private banks to loan to students who were considered to be a credit risk," pushed became a private lender in 1997. Since then, the stock price "has gone up almost 2,000 percent" and company executives have become among the highest paid in the nation. CBS' 60 Minutes investigates, and explores the question of whether it's appropriate for Sallie Mae to act as both a lender and a collector.
  • Big Money on Campus: How Taxpayers are Getting Scammed by Student Loans

    This story details how private lenders lure schools out of the federal government's cost - effective direct loan program and into exclusive contracts in the more expensive bank - based Federal Family Education Loan Program. Private lenders use questionable tactics that border on bribery to convince schools that they should switch programs. 62 colleges have entered this program since 2000, at a cost of roughly $250 million to the Treasury.
  • Tilt!

    The Sun Journal spent a year investigating Maine's student loan system and "explored how one man, Richard Pierce, and a host of related agencies and entities he operates or controls have come to dominate 70 percent of Maine's market for new student loans."