For many future college students the price of a private liberal arts education is just too high. An annual survey conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute shows that the economy has an impact on 62% of college students choosing where to enroll. This means that two-thirds of college applicants make decisions based on cost.
But some colleges are trying to change the situation. An article in USA Today (“Colleges Offer Graduates Help Repaying Loans”) looks at how Alma College in Michigan and others are promising to help some accepted students pay off their loans after they graduate. The financial aid will be directed specifically at students who plan on entering low-paying public service fields. Jeff Abernathy, president of Alma College, explains: “When we have an excellent student we know will be successful here (but) who has that anxiety about student loans, this is one more tool for us.”
To help these students the college gives around $1,200 per student per year to an association that pools the funds to repay the loans for qualified students who are expected to need it.
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