Denied: Some College Students Can’t Access Federal Loans

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For some students, the only way college can become a reality is through student loans. Unfortunately, attending college may not be attainable due to uncooperative schools.

The Institute for College Access and Success finds that an overwhelming number of community college students are unable to obtain Federal student loans because their schools have decided not to make them available. Consequently, these students may be forced to make ends meet by using credit cards and taking on costly private loans.

The recent study entitled At What Cost? How Community Colleges that Do Not Offer Federal Loans Put Students at Risk, outlines the differences in loan access for each of the 50 states. Information is broken down by state, urban/non-urban status, and race/ethnicity.

Here are some of the findings from the study:

  • About 1 million community college students do not have access to federal student loans. More than 250,000 of these students attend California community colleges.
  • In seven states, more than 20% of community college students attend schools that do not participate in the federal loan program (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah).
  • Among all U.S. community college students: 10.5% of Latinos, 12.4% of African Americans, and 20.1% of Native Americans lack access to federal student loans, compared to 7.5% of White and 4.5% of Asian-Pacific Islander students.

“… for those who need to borrow, federal student loans can make the difference between graduating and having to drop out,” says TICAS research director Debbie Cochrane, who is also the report’s main author.

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