At What Cost? How Community Colleges That Do Not Offer Federal Loans Put Students At Risk


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The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS)


Each year, millions of college students borrow money to help bridge the gap between college costs and available income, savings, and grants. Experts all agree that, for those who need to borrow to pay for college, federal student loans are the safest and most affordable option. Unfortunately, some colleges choose not to participate in the federal student loan program, preventing their students from taking advantage of them. Without access to affordable student loans, students who cannot afford school after available grants and scholarships are left between a rock and a hard place. They might borrow through other channels, such as private education loans or credit cards, which are more expensive, riskier, and lack the repayment options and protections of federal student loans. Alternatively, they might work longer hours to pay the bills or cut back on the number of classes they take each term – choices that research has consistently found to reduce students’ chances of completing a degree or certificate.



Student loan programs, college completion, student financial aid, graduation rates