More fear than reality when student loans are in the media

I tend to listen to the radio while I get ready in the morning, usually spending most of the time on National Public Radio or some other new station to get caught up before my day starts. Not surprisingly, I tend to give a little more attention to stories about education, especially those about admissions, college, etc. so my ears perked up this morning when a story came on about “the credit crunch” in student loans.

I’ve had some previous posts, but before you click on the link and get into a panic, here’s the best information I’ve been able to find. There is a massive credit crunch nationally, and there is some strain that has rolled into the student loan market. The largest impact will be felt at schools with high default rates on student loans, which is a minority of schools, generally for-profit and generally serving an adult population. I have seen no indications yet that students planning to attend traditional institutions this fall will have any new problems obtaining loans. Students whose families have very weak credit ratings may be an exception, although possibly they would have had some of these challenges before the lending crisis.

It is possible that rates will be somewhat higher, but it does not yet look like rates have skyrocketed. For the most part, there isn’t much changing the cost of your college education, other than the actual increase in cost of your college education. That isn’t to say that those of you starting the search shouldn’t look for a great deal (shameless plug – have I mentioned in the last five minutes that Mason is about half the cost of the other nationally competitive DC area institutions?). You shouldn’t however, start to panic based on the weird way the media is treating this topic. Be seeing you.


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