The Loan Georgia Students Don’t Want

The state of Georgia, attempting to compensate for its recent policy decision to totally give up on making college affordable, has a new loan program available. But students aren’t interested.

According to an editorial by Laura Diamond at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Georgia officials thought as many as 15,000 college students would apply for a new low-interest loan. Instead, 5,181 students did, and officials said Monday that they may reopen the application cycle.

Lawmakers funded the Student Access Loan Program when they overhauled the HOPE scholarship, lowering the award amount for recipients. The state gave $20 million to the Georgia Student Finance Commission for the loan program.

Perhaps that’s because the selection process for the loan is sort of crappy. While those approved can take advantage of a 1 percent interest rate, it’s sort of unclear who gets the loan. While the loan amount is determined by financial need, whether or not a student is even eligible is determined at random. Don’t have enough money for college? Well good luck.

In fact, even applying for the loan seems like it would just introduce financial uncertainty into the process of planning for education. “A computer program will randomly select who receives the loan, [the Georgia Student Finance Commission’s Tracy] Ireland said. Students will receive an email this week saying whether they are part of the first cohort selected by the computer, Ireland said.”

Well if only 5,000 students applied, why not just give it to all of them?

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer