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What Community Colleges Can Do to Promote Responsible Borrowing


The Chronicle of Higher Education - August 22, 2012

Making federal student loans available can be a mixed bag for community colleges. On the one hand, borrowing a reasonable amount can make it possible for students to pay for college without having to work long hours. On the other, the colleges worry about losing federal grant aid if their loan-default rates are too high.

The Institute for College Access & Success and the California Community Colleges Student Financial Aid Administrators Association weighed in on Wednesday with areport describing best practices for helping students approach debt. The report, “Making Loans Work: How Community Colleges Support Responsible Student Borrowing,” draws on interviews with aid directors at California’s community colleges.

The report outlines a number of suggestions for community colleges nationwide, such as requiring additional counseling for at-risk borrowers and denying individual loans when appropriate.