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The Chronicle of Higher Education Exposes Student Loan Expert as Fraud

Does anyone know the real Drew Cloud?

Lindsay Wigo

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You might have heard of the student-loan debt specialist, Drew Cloud.

He was considered an expert “self-described journalist” who wrote all the interesting stories for the popular student finance website, The Student Loan Report.

Cloud’s expertise was quoted and published numerous times on prestigious platforms such as Washington Post, The Boston Globe and even CNBC.

However, it was just proven by The Chronicle of Higher Education that Drew Cloud is not a real person. The entire person was an orchestrated character.

The Chronicle spent over a week trying to confirm Cloud’s authenticity before the company that owns The Student Loan Report reported that Drew Cloud was in fact, fake.

“Drew Cloud” had communicated with many journalists and news companies for weeks beforehand.

When The Chronicle tried to get in contact with him through the email address provided, a response was sent, supposedly from Cloud, saying that he was out of town and did not have full capabilities of accessing his account.

From that point, Cloud did not respond to any emails. The bylines of his articles were no longer that of his name; they were replaced with “SLR Editor.”

Nate Matherson, the CEO of LendEDU, the company that owns The Student Loan Report, came out with a statement, explaining that the fictitious character was developed to “share experiences and information related to the challenges college students face while funding their education.”

The Student Loan Report website was prominently displaying the official statement by Matherson Thursday night.

The Chronicle also explained how one of the most popular responses Cloud gave when students came to ask him about his expertise was to “refinance their loans.” This was one of LendEDU’s services.

The Student Loan Report never expressed its affiliation with LendEDU.

Matherson concluded his apology note by stating if anyone has any questions or concerns about past content to contact hello@studentloans.net.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Lindsay is a journalism student and is excited to be working with College Media Network as a writer/reporter. She hopes to work in the journalism field in the future as a features and profiles writer. For more of her work, visit her website: www.lindsaywigo.com

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