Columbia University has finally fired their director of undergraduate financial aid, David Charlow, after suspending him over “questionable financial ties” to Student Loan Xpress. Excerpts of emails from Charlow to executives at Student Loan Xpress published in the New York Post show Charlow conspiring to assist SLX in marketing to Columbia students. Charlow owns stock in the company and served as their adviser. “I want by its design to lead the students to [the] best decision in an idiot-proof way,” Charlow said in an email to SLX.
The New York Times also published an account of the email exchanges, our personal favorite was when Charlow requested that SLX executives write a rebuttal to charges that he was accepting kickbacks. SLX replied to Charlow:
“Great idea on rebuttle. I will get right on it. You will come out sqeeky clean.”
A similar fate has befallen the financial aid director at Johns Hopkins, Ellen Frishberg. She also has ties to SLX, and joined in yesterday’s resignation party. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in response,
“While our investigation has uncovered many dirty secrets of the college loan industry, the stock and money that Student Loan Xpress funneled to Charlow and Frishberg were among the most flagrant. At times, it seems that Charlow and Frishberg were working more for Student Loan Xpress than for their universities.”
AID ‘SCAM’ E-MAIL TRAIL [NYP]
Columbia Fires Its Director of Student Aid [NYT]
Columbia Financial Aid Director Fired in Loan Scandal [Gothamist]