ERIC Number: ED478298
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Private Loans and Choice in Financing Higher Education.
Wegmann, Catherine A.; Cunningham, Alisa F.; Merisotis, Jamie P.
Private loans also known as private-label loans or alternative loans, have long been part of the student financial aid equation, but are receiving new attention in recent years. Understanding who gets private loans and their reasons for borrowing these loans is critical for policymaking, but little research has been done. This report explores the private loan market, the practices of financial aid offices, and the perceptions of students and parents about private loans. The report explores these issues from various perspectives, drawing on nationally representative data from a variety of sources, including the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS), the Survey of Undergraduate Financial Aid Policies, Practices, and Procedures, data from the College Board and the"Greentree Gazette," and a survey of administrators. Different sources of research data led to the same inescapable conclusion: the use of private loans is a growing part of college financing. Estimates from various sources suggest that total private loan volume is now at least $5 billion to $6 billion per year. The total volume of private loans has now surpassed the amounts awarded annually under the Federal Student Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study, and the Perkins Loan Program combined. Nevertheless, private loans still comprise only a small portion, about 10%, of total student loan volume. Overall, only 4% of undergraduates, 3% of graduate students, and 16% of professional students borrowed private loans in 1999-2000. Private loans appear to be facilitating student college choice, although there are a few specific groups of students for which private loans may be contributing to unmanageable loan burdens. Four appendixes contain the framework for the focus group discussions, the Web-based survey form, a description of survey respondents, and detailed tables form the NPSAS. (Contains 17 figures and 28 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Education Resources Inst., Boston, MA.
Authoring Institution: Institute for Higher Education Policy, Washington, DC.
Note: Project partners include: Institute for Higher Education Policy; National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA); and The Education Resources Institute (TERI).