New research report by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) finds that North Carolina is one of three states across the country where community college students are notably shortchanged on federal student loans. The report, States of Denial: Where Community College Students Lack Access to Federal Student Loans, documents substantial disparities in loan access by state, race/ethnicity, and urban/non-urban status during the 2015-16 academic year. Close to half of North Carolina's community college students—53 percent—have no access to these loans.
Whitney Barkley, an expert on student lending and policy counsel with the Center for Responsible Lending, made the following statement:
From this report, we learn that 80 percent of North Carolina's non-urban community college students lack access to federal student loans. While most North Carolina community college students can pay their way with Pell Grants and family contributions, we are concerned that those who do need to borrow lack access to the federal student loan programs. Experts know that federal loans are the safest way to borrow for college.
As an organization that is devoted to safe and fair lending practices, The Center for Responsible Lending is concerned that this lack of access may lead these student borrowers to use riskier and more expensive private loans. If students delay or drop out of college, or even use predatory products like payday loans to attempt to bridge the gaps in financing their college educations, their financial challenges become more complex.
We applaud The Institute for College Access and Success for their work in documenting this serious issue.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL expert, please contact Charlene Crowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.313.8523