Sallie Mae’s Thank Yous, Beyoncé’s New Class, And More “News”

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This blog’s loyal reader(s) have probably noticed some changes over the past month, as we’ve cut back on our recurring features.

Perhaps you simply thought these were in hibernation. And who could blame them for going there—I mean, especially with this Polar Vortex!? (Yup, this is the topical humor you missed.) Alas, this is the new normal, and we don’t plan to cancel it soon.


However, there’s still a place on the SALT™ Blog for money-related news from college and beyond. We’ll just post about it less frequently.

Consider this “Special Interest” instead of “Daily Interest” (because people never get upset when you combine “special interest” and “money”). So, without further ado, here are some stories that caught my eye over the past few days—now with GIFs, so they’re, you know, extra special. (Plus, it’s easier than writing jokes.)

Sallie Mae Claims Borrowers’ Thank-You Notes Exceed Complaints (Huffington Post)

Times are tough for the nation’s largest student loan company, as at least three federal agencies are investigating Sallie Mae’s business practices. Fortunately, in this tough time, the student loan giant has people to lean on for moral support: its borrowers.

In a letter from earlier this month, the company revealed that “it receives three times as many thank-you notes from borrowers in default than verbal complaints.” I get it. Recovering from student loan default is an accomplishment borrowers should celebrate. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something else behind all these “thanks” …

What To Buy In February (Cheapism)

The “What To Buy” post is one of my favorite recurring features; how I’ve missed it so.

With a few big events this month (this weekend’s Super Bowl Sunday, Valentines Day, the long weekend for Presidents Day), Cheapism outlines items you can expect to find deals on over the next few weeks. Topping their list are electronics, tax-filing software, and perhaps most surprisingly, “the winter off-season and mid-winter boat shows make February the right month to buy a boat.”

(T-Pain sold separately.)

College Offers Course On Beyoncé (Jezebel)

Rutgers University is offering a new course that students can put on their tuition bills, bills, bills. (Yes! I’m totally back now.) The course, “Politicizing Beyoncé,” uses the “performer’s music and career … as lenses to explore American race, gender, and sexual politics.”

Now, having “studied Beyoncé “ on your résumé may not help you run the world when it comes time to apply for jobs. Then again, I have “studied journalism” on mine, and yet, here I am writing about this. So …

A Surprising Number Of College Students Struggle To Find Enough Food (Smithsonian)

Western Oregon University researchers recently found that 59 percent of about 350 students surveyed at their college qualified as being “food insecure” at one point in the past year. Now, that’s not “insecure” in a freshman-15-type way. Rather, it means that they have “uncertain access to safe, nutrional [sic] food, either because that food’s not available or it’s too hard to get in what the USDA calls ‘socially acceptable ways.’ ”

The scientists labeled the results as “shocking,” and I have to agree. I mean, the stuff below does have have nutritional vegetables in it, right?

Justin Long Joins’s Personal Finance Campaign‏ (Look To The Stars)

Earlier this week, we highlighted a new experience from our friends over at However, we’re not the only famous people on board with “Would You Rather”; they’ve also enlisted the help of actor Justin Long to spread the word. Click through above to hear his pitch for joining this experience, as well as some outtakes from him.

Now, one of the big things with “Would You Rather” is getting your friends to play along with you. Since I have no friends, I’m wondering if I could call Justin up to join me in a game.

Oh, I see.

What money-related news has caught your eye of late? Let us know!

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