More than 30 of Missouri’s institutions of higher education have gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars to counsel students not to default on their student loans. College students facing higher tuitions…..increased pressures from credit card companies….and extended college careers often leave campus thousands and thousands of dollars in debt…. Some don’t bother paying off their student loans—and that refusal can limit opportunties for later students at those schools to get the loans they need. The state higher education department has given more than 700-thousand dollars to 30 universities and colleges to run programs on student loan default prevention. Marilyn Landrum, who heads the program that finances on-campus financial counseling, says some students get in over their heads because they do not anticipate costs well….or because they try to take advantage of the system and borrow money for things other than their education. The default prevention program works. When it started in 2001, the average default rate among the participating schools was 13 percent. Two years later, it was only five percent. Landrum hopes the decline continues when the next annual report is issued next month.
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