Federal policy on student loans continues to evolve with much at stake for community college students, even if they depend on loans less than students enrolled in other sectors.
Only about 12% of all for-credit community college students take out federal loans, with the current Pell Grant maximum of $6,495 (compared to an average national full-year tuition of $3,800) helping many community college students steer clear of the loan programs. The College Board reports that community college students account for just 11% of all subsidized Direct Loans and 5% of all unsubsidized ones while they receive 33% of all Pell Grant funds.
However, community college student default rates, though declining, continue to be much higher than those in other non-profit institutions, starkly pointing to the need for policy improvements.
Student loan pause
Shortly before the end of last year, the Biden administration announced that it would extend the current student loan pause on repayments until . This was the fifth such pause made at the discretion of the executive branch, with the first being implemented at the start of the pandemic.
Early signals from the administration indicated opposition to continuing the pause, and given the overall strong economy, this reluctance was understandable. Continue reading