Journalism in the Public Interest


Marian Wang

Marian Wang

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Marian Wang is a reporter for ProPublica, covering education and college debt. She has been with ProPublica since 2010, first blogging about a variety of accountability issues. Her latest stories have focused on how rising college costs and the complexity of the student loan system affect students and their families. Prior to coming to ProPublica, she worked at Mother Jones magazine in San Francisco and freelanced for a number of Chicago-based publications, including The Chicago Reporter, an investigative magazine focused on issues of race and poverty.


Q&A: Elizabeth Warren on Spiraling Student Debt and What Should Be Done About It

The professor-turned-lawmaker talks about why people should care and what Congress should be doing to help ease the burden on borrowers.

As Parents Struggle to Repay College Loans for Their Children, Taxpayers Also Stand to Lose

New Department of Education data shows rising default rates on federal loans to parents.

How Exactly Do Colleges Allocate Their Financial Aid? They Won’t Say.

Universities rarely release the specific criteria behind their aid decisions. Could a little-known regulation help open the black box?

How College Pricing Is Like Holiday Retail Sales

Those slashed retail prices that fueled your holiday shopping binges might be illusions. We explain why college pricing is similar – but even less transparent.

This Year’s Best Reporting on Education

We review some of 2013's best education-related accountability news.

After Years of Troubles, Largest Student-Loan Servicers Get Stepped-up Oversight

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced increased oversight of the companies that act as go-between for student borrowers and lenders.

On ‘Country Club’ Campuses: A Public University Ex-President Shares His Second Thoughts

He brought sushi to campus dining halls and revamped the dorms. Why one former university president wonders whether he did the right thing.

George Washington University Has for Years Claimed to be ‘Need-Blind.’ It’s Not.

After years of repeatedly claiming to practice “need-blind” admissions, administrators at George Washington University now acknowledge that the school has long given an edge to wealthier students.

Breaking Away: Top Public Universities Push for ‘Autonomy’ From States

Many are worried that as public universities gain freedom, they will end up sidelining broader goals such as access and affordability.

Admissions Directors at Public Universities Speak Honestly (and Anonymously) About Their Goals

But a newly released survey by Inside Higher Ed of admissions directors underscored schools' strong interest in out-of-state students and international students, who typically pay higher tuition.

Public Universities Ramp Up Aid for the Wealthy, Leaving the Poor Behind

Chasing prestige and battered by state funding cuts, many public colleges and universities with a historic responsibility to provide access to an affordable education have turned to "financial aid leveraging," offering wealthy or high-scoring students discounts on tuition.

The Admission Arms Race: Six Ways Colleges Game Their Numbers

There's a lot of work that goes into the admissions stats that universities tout.

Course Load: The Growing Burden of College Fees

Students and parents are learning their college fates this week and then having to address whether schools are actually affordable. They have their work cut out for them as college fees, often well-disguised, continue to explode.

Financial Aid Group Calls on Feds to Shore Up Lending to Parents

New Report Calls for More Grants to Low-Income Students, End to Federal Parent Loan Program

The federal government must make a more substantial investment in direct aid to students and dramatically simplify the system of student loans, says a report by the New America Foundation.

Families Shoulder Heftier Burdens as College Debt Swells

Student debt is putting a strain on students — and their parents. Meanwhile, federal programs to make student loans more affordable won't bring relief to all.

For Grieving Father Struggling With Dead Son’s Student Debt, Resolution Comes Four Years Late

A California gardener lost his son but was saddled with a crushing debt — and it was difficult even to learn who owned that debt. Four years later, he's finally reached a legal resolution.

Another Way Student Loans Are Like Mortgages: Subpar Servicing

The companies handling private student loans — much like those handling mortgages — sometimes add to the frustration and even the debt load of struggling borrowers.

Has Your Family Been Denied a Parent Plus Loan? Share Your Story With Us.

How Financial Aid Letters Often Leave Students Confused and Misinformed

The Department of Education has a model financial aid award letter. It's very different from what schools are actually sending.
Marian Wang

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