PIRG in the News

Media Hit | Student Debt

Debit Cards on Campus

Given the history of shady dealings between banks and colleges, Congress needs to take a hard look at the increasingly common practice of schools contracting with banks to disburse financial aiddollars to students.

Media Hit | Sustainability

Bottle bill expansion sidetracked on Beacon Hill

BOSTON —Supporters of expanding the bottle bill to cover more types of beverages were outraged by a committee vote yesterdaymorning that will likely torpedo the proposal until next January, when the next legislative session begins.

 

Media Hit | Higher Ed

Campus debit cards can carry downsides

Consumer advocates have long criticized the amount of fees associated with debit cards. Most recently, a report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund found that hundreds of colleges have partnerships with financial companies to put a student’s financial aid on debit or prepaid cards that carry hefty fees. Under some of these deals, official student photo ID cards can double as debit cards.

Media Hit | Higher Ed

Students Lose When Financial Aid Goes Onto Fee-Laden Debit Cards

Thought the student loan crisis was bad as it is? Now add hefty fees into that mix. Providers say students can avoid the fees that pile up when they elect to receive their financial aid on a debit card, but new research from a consumer advocacy group finds that these companies throw up roadblocks to keep the fee revenue rolling in, even as colleges make big bucks off their affiliations with these institutions.

Chance to make utilities more accountable lost for outages is gone with the wind

Power giants NStar and Northeast Utilities won a green light from Massachusetts' regulators for their multibillion-dollar merger without having to answer serious questions about the catastrophic outages that darkened vast swaths of New England last fall, a review of merger records shows.

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