Legislators hear of 'no-loan' proposal for college students | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Legislators hear of 'no-loan' proposal for college students

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 4:20 PM

click to enlarge REAL COSTS: Chart compares cost of attending UA with costs at North Carolina, when allowances for lower-income students are included.
  • REAL COSTS: Chart compares cost of attending UA with costs at North Carolina, when allowances for lower-income students are included.

Rep. Greg Leding
of Fayetteville made a presentation before the Arkansas Legislative Council higher education subcommittee today on the idea to institute a "no-loan" element to help lower income students get through college without crushing debts.

Some 60 schools have no-loan programs. In the simplest version, students with low enough income receive straight grants to cover college costs for amounts they previously had to borrow.

Student debt is a huge problem and growing. Leding said 55 percent of degree-holders in Arkansas have college debt averaging more than $25,000 per student. It's no surprise that enrollment of lower-income students has been static or falling against rising costs. Meanwhile, he said some 6,000 students at the University of Arkansas come from families with income greater than $110,000, or three times the state median income. That sector is growing rapidly, he said.

His presentation included a comparison of the actual cost of attending UA versus comparable regional universities, when allowances are included for help based on income. UA is more expensive. He'd earlier gotten analysis that showed a poor student could expect to attend Harvard for less than UAF.

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