Department of Education: Key Aspects of the Federal Direct Loan Program's Cost Estimates

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Education runs two major federal student loan programs, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Under FDLP, students or their parents borrow money directly from the federal government through the schools the students attend. Under FFELP, money is borrowed from private lenders, and the federal government guarantees repayment if the borrowers default. GAO investigated concerns about Education's reliance on estimates to project FDLP costs and a lack of historical information on which to ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. January 12, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Education runs two major federal student loan programs, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP) and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Under FDLP, students or their parents borrow money directly from the federal government through the schools the students attend. Under FFELP, money is borrowed from private lenders, and the federal government guarantees repayment if the borrowers default. GAO investigated concerns about Education's reliance on estimates to project FDLP costs and a lack of historical information on which to base those estimates. GAO found that developing a reasonable estimate of subsidy cost for loan programs is complex. Many assumptions must be taken into account and projections must be made for the life of the loans. Because FDLP's subsidy costs are determined largely by interest rates and interest rate fluctuations cannot be predicted with any certainty, it is unclear whether the current trend in negative subsidy costs for FDLP will continue. In addition, other factors, such as origination fees paid by borrowers, defaults, subsequent collections on defaulted loans and timing of loan repayments, affect the subsidy cost of FDLP. Although Education is able to estimate origination fees close to the actual amounts in the financial system, other key cash flows varied significantly. Also, Education's current model for estimating FDLP subsidy costs does not directly take into account key factors, such as prepayments and consolidations."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 12, 2001

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Department of Education: Key Aspects of the Federal Direct Loan Program's Cost Estimates, report, January 12, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc294165/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.