Economy Hurts Students’ Financial Aid

Students unable to make ends meet with scholarships, need-based programs and grants will soon have more difficulty securing loans. Financial aid officials with Augusta-area schools and lenders say stricter requirements for private loans and a reduction in lenders for federal Stafford loans are affecting students.

Stafford loans, federally insured loans with a third-party lender, are determined by the educational institution and the Free Application for Student Aid. Unsubsidized loans have an interest rate of 6.8 percent, and subsidized loans are at 6 percent. They aren’t necessarily need-based like the federal Perkins loan, in which the government is the lender.

Willene Holmes, the director of financial aid at Augusta State University, said many companies without the word "bank" in their name have pulled out of the Stafford loan program. The reason is a lack of "liquid cash," she said, or available funds. Read full story. (The Augusta Chronicle)


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