- The Obama administration is considering a plan to require financial aid counseling for college students during their academic careers.
- Critics say the plan may discourage low-income students from degree completion, but U.S. Department of Education officials say the program will be piloted through select schools and will abide by federal laws that prohibit denial or limiting of loan access to eligible students.
- Inside Higher Ed reports that many community and for-profit colleges have endorsed the plan for additional loan counseling.
Now that colleges and universities will be held to federal standards on student loan defaults and job placements, many campuses will likely endorse scaled versions of additional financial aid counseling. Loan defaults are decreasing nationwide, but the key to maintaining the trend may be in advocating for more control over the form, timing and conditions of the counseling.
For low-income students, institutions should consider surveying students to find out how they can best communicate metrics of overborrowing, and in communicating the long-term implications or what specific loans could levy in repayment terms. Campaigns against taking and spending loan refunds could be launched, to encourage financial responsibility among students before they incur other debt associated with living as a young professional.