Monday, August 13, 2007

Nelnet to Give Nebraska $1 million for Need-based Aid and Legal Aid Loan Forgiveness Program

August 10, 2007 -- (Lincoln, NE) Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning today announced Lincoln-based student loan provider Nelnet has agreed to give $1 million for student loan assistance programs in the state of Nebraska.

“Defending Nebraska’s taxpayers is my foremost priority,” Bruning said. “If there has been a misunderstanding by anyone about the nature of the state’s agreement with Nelnet, I want to fix that. Out of an abundance of caution, I re-approached Nelnet about our agreement. Today’s action eliminates the opportunity for political gamesmanship by those who may want to create the perception of a conflict of interest.”

Half of Nelnet’s contribution, or $500,000, will be placed in the already existing Nebraska State Grant fund for need-based scholarships, which is distributed by the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. The other $500,000 will be placed in a trust fund established on behalf of Legal Aid of Nebraska at the Omaha Community Foundation. The interest from the trust will fund a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) to enhance recruitment and retention of Legal Aid attorneys who serve indigent Nebraskans.

“This agreement is even better for Nebraska students and their families,” Bruning said. “Instead of sending $1 million to finance a national education project, we’re keeping the money right here in Nebraska for student aid.”

“We are pleased to support these two worthy organizations with a contribution that fulfills the commitment we made in our voluntary agreement with the state of Nebraska,” said Jeff Noordhoek, Nelnet president. “Nelnet has led the education finance industry in an effort to increase transparency in the financial aid process. Our mission has always been about helping students and families plan and pay for their education with our products and services.”

“The contribution to LRAP will serve impoverished Nebraskans like no other program. We’re very grateful to be considered in this settlement,” Doug German, Executive Director of Legal Aid of Nebraska, said. “The longer our lawyers can stay in their positions, the more experienced they become, and the better they’re able to serve Nebraskans who have nowhere else to go for legal aid.”

Source: Nebraska Attorney General

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