Banks Stop Lending to Community Colleges
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You'd almost think it was all deliberate -- have banks get a bunch of people to buy homes they can't possibly afford by offering easy mortgages to lure them in, then hike the rates so that they are ruined financially when you pull the rug out from under them. Send the high-paying jobs overseas. And now, with politicians talking about education being the key to advancement in a globalized world (a dubious notion at best, with the highest-paying jobs being outsourced to lower-paying countries), make it tougher for anyone other than the wealthy to afford college:
Some of the nationâ€™s biggest banks have closed their doors to students at community colleges, for-profit universities and other less competitive institutions, even as they continue to extend federally backed loans to students at the nationâ€™s top universities.
Citibank has been among the most aggressive in paring the list of colleges it serves. JPMorgan Chase, PNC and SunTrust say they have not dropped whole categories, but are cutting colleges as well. Some less-selective four-year colleges, like Eastern Oregon University and William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., say they have been summarily dropped by some lenders.
The practice suggests that if the credit crisis and the ensuing turmoil in the student loan business persist, some of the nationâ€™s neediest students will be hurt the most. The difficulty borrowing may deter them from attending school or prompt them to take a semester off. When they get student loans, they will wind up with less attractive terms and may run a greater risk of default if they have to switch lenders in the middle of their college years.
Tuition and loan amounts can be quite small at community colleges. But these institutions, which are a stepping stone to other educational programs or to better jobs, often draw students from the lower rungs of the economic ladder. More than 6.2 million of the nationâ€™s 14.8 million undergraduates â€” over 40 percent â€” attend community colleges. According to the most recent data from the College Board, about a third of their graduates took out loans, a majority of them federally guaranteed.
â€œIf we put too many hurdles in their way to get a loan, theyâ€™ll take a third job or use a credit card,â€ said Jacqueline K. Bradley, assistant dean for financial aid at Mendocino College in California. â€œThat almost guarantees that they wonâ€™t be as successful in their college career.â€
And that's the point, isn't it? Create an entire new serf class to serve the landed gentry, so that the Land of Opportunity looks more like this. You'd almost think it was deliberate.
Labels: economic death watch