The Demise of State Student Loan Programs

A year ago I remember telling my nephew, who wants to be a police officer, about a fabulous deal for students who hoped to major in criminal justice.

The state of Missouri was so eager to encourage its young people to become cops that it was practically giving away loans with a miniscule interest rate of .5%.   Students who wanted to go into firefighting, teaching and other  public service careers could also capture the same deal that was offered through the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority

State programs like the one in Missouri used to be fairly common for the right kind of students. Today, however, many states are dialing back their generosity thanks to the economic hard times.

A story in The New York Times today leads off with the tale of a couple of teachers in Kentucky with $100,000 in student debt who thought their loans would eventually be forgiven through a program in the bluegrass state. Kentucky, however, pulled the plug on its largesse.

Despite the dismantling of some state programs, it’s still best to investigate whether nonprofit lenders, which typically operate with a state charter, are still offering great deals.

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  1. If you are concerned about losing programs like the ones noted, you should write your Congressional delegation in Washington, DC, to let them know to sae the FFELP. Congress is changing the rules and the programs as we speak. They have the ability to keep programs like the ones noted here and others, going.