Marian Wang


Marian Wang was a reporter for ProPublica, covering education and college debt. She joined ProPublica in 2010, first blogging about a variety of accountability issues. Her later stories 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.

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.

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.

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.

No Income? No Problem! How the Gov't Is Saddling Parents with College Loans They Can't Afford

As college costs continue to climb, families are turning to federal Parent Plus loans to fill the gap. But with no checks on their ability to repay, many parents are left overburdened, and others set up for failure.

Banks’ Lending Frenzy Left Borrowers Buried in Student Debt, Report Details

In the run-up to the financial crisis, banks and other lenders made risky private student loans. In the years since, default rates have soared and borrowers are still suffering.

Grieving Father Struggles to Pay Dead Son's Student Loans

The father, a gardener who earns $21,000, co-signed for his son's loans. Now, he can’t even find out who holds them.

What Is Your Student Loan Story?

Student Loan Borrowers Dazed and Confused by Servicer Shuffle

A little-known legal provision forces the federal government to award contracts to qualifying nonprofit student loan servicers, putting them in charge of managing millions of loans. The shuffle has thus far caused problems for some borrowers.

While White House Emphasizes Easing Student Debt Burden, Fed Contractors Play Hardball

President Obama has touted efforts to ease the burdens of student borrowers with federal loans, but some federally contracted collection agencies neglect to lay out borrowers’ best options.

School of Hard Knocks: Fed Education Data Shows Racial Disparities, Unequal Opportunity

Department of Education releases wide range of data on schools. ProPublica will clean, cross-check, and incorporate into our interactive schools app.

The Recess Appointment(s) Obama Hasn’t Made

Still Waiting for Cleanup in Foreclosure Mess

If last year was the year in which faulty foreclosures and bank errors became a full-blown scandal, this has been the year of waiting for something to be done about it.

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