State agency in charge of handing out student loans will run out of money by Friday
More than 15,000 university students in this state will return to class in the coming weeks to find their student loans will be delayed. The state loan agency says it's the result of a poor credit market. Federal help is on the way, but until then, Kentucky has no student loan money to hand out.
The University of Louisville campus is quiet. Students won't start class until August 25th. But when they return, some of them will find their student loans have been delayed.
"It's been a problem since the beginning of the year and really relates to the capital markets where we normally receive our funding," said Jim Ackinson, VP The Student Loan People.
Amid a student loan crisis, Congress stepped in this summer and passed legislation to provide a solution. The plan called for the U.S. Department of Education to buy loans from lenders for the 2008-2009 school year. Jim Ackinson with Kentucky's lending arm, The Student Loan People, says the program was slow to be implemented and will mean college students' loan checks will be delayed.
"And we're looking now probably at the end of the month before the federal money will be available," said Ackinson.
Some University of Louisville students might have their student loans delayed by more than a week because of this student loan crisis. That, coupled with the increasing cost of tuition really speaks to the larger issue, that college has become increasingly more difficult to afford.
"It's just agonizing because now with these things going on with the loans. People are getting less. It's really confusing and stressful for the people that I know," said freshman Joshua Walters.
"Loans are a huge part of it. If my (tuition) remission is taken away I'll have to take out loans, which I would really like to avoid because it will be a big burden after school is over," said freshman Ben Taylor.
The money state had set aside for student loans this summer will run out by Friday. Ackinson is hoping additional federal money will arrive next week. In the meantime, the state is asking universities to hold student loan submissions.
"We're just going to ask us to be patient with us, hold those submissions for a few days until the new plan until the federal solution becomes available," said Ackinson.
Ackinson says there is a chance that federal money might not be there. In that case, the state has a contingency plan to get temporary federal assistance in place. More than 110,000 students rely on loans in Kentucky.