PLUS Loan Program Changes Affect Students in Bridgewater

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

BRIDGEWATER, Va. -- Thousands of students couldn't afford to go to college this school year.

That's after the U.S. Department of Education made changes to the PLUS school loan program.

The tougher eligibility requirements for parents affected families and schools, including some in our area.

Scott Morrison said the changes to that loan program mean that students and parents may have to seek other options to get a loan they need.

After credit requirements changed for parents, about 25 % of parents who apply for that loan, now get denied.

At Bridgewater College, there are 300 students who do get plus loans.

Morrison said some parents did have to find other options. A student could borrow an unsubsidized amount through the Federal Direct Unsubsized Loan program.

If they've been denied for PLUS loans, freshmen and sophomores can get an additional $4,000 added on to that loan.

For juniors and seniors, that number is $5000.

"We've been able to work through this with people that have been caught off guard...to get things taken care of."

Students can also get someone to co-sign with them for a private loan.

Colleges that have really been hard hit with this are historically black colleges.

The National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education says families of more than 14,000 students at those colleges were denied PLUS loans.

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