Aid Directors Express Worry About Pace of Loan Changes

October 14, 2009

Surveys by two regional groups of financial aid directors suggest that, despite assurances from the U.S. Education Department, many college officials are worried about the impact that proposed changes in federal student loan programs will have on their institutions and students. The Western and Southern affiliates of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators both asked their members whose institutions are still in the lender-based Federal Family Education Loan Program about the impact they envision from President Obama's proposal to shift all federal lending to the competing direct loan program, a change that would be carried out by legislation that has passed the House of Representatives and will soon be introduced in the Senate. Two-thirds of aid officers said that they were "very" or "extremely" concerned about the prospect of making such a shift by July 2010, as the legislation currently envisions, and nearly half said they expected a significant or severe impact on their budgets. Education Department officials have repeatedly sought to assure aid administrators that the many institutions that have made the shift have had an easy time of it.

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