FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab
Student loan program runs smoothly at SRU
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University students needing financial aid to help cover the cost of a higher education are finding federal lending programs operating smoothly despite reported problems in the student loan industry nationally.
"Our students have encountered few difficulties," said Patty Hladio, SRU director of financial aid. "There has been turmoil in the industry in general. Some lenders have pulled out of federal loan programs due to a cut in federal subsidies, the overall economy and the national mortgage crisis. Fortunately, Congress took action earlier this year implementing new legislation with the intention of staving off potential student loan access problems. To date, the effect on returning or new SRU students has truly been minimal."
Hladio said approximately 6,000 of the estimated 8,400 student's enrolled at SRU applied for and received financial aid in the form of student loans. Students are first considered for grants and scholarships, followed by student loan and work-study opportunities.
"While a few of the lenders involved with SRU student loans pulled out of the federal loan programs, the primary effect on certain students was having to sign new Stafford Loan promissory notes to continue their participation. For our students who had previous loans with such lenders, we have been able to direct them to lenders still participating in the loan programs," Hladio said.
"We educate our students to tap into the federal loan programs first, but some students still look for additional loan options. Of course, we caution students who may be having difficulty in obtaining favorable, non-federal student loans that they may want to consider other options. A student, or family, with an unfavorable credit rating, may want to review their finances before taking on additional debt at a variable interest rate," she said.
Hladio said students who have not yet filed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), still have time to apply for student loans. "We will continue to process applications well into the semester," she said.
SRU relies heavily on the Stafford Federal Student Loan Program to help it students. "The new legislation enacted by Congress not only helped to stabilize the student loan markets, but it also provided increased federal loan limits for students which results in less need for students to tap into the credit-based, non-federal, private loan programs." Hladio said. The application process begins by completing the FAFSA form. From there we work with students and their families to help obtain the best possible financial aid package, relying first on gift aid followed by loans," she said.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.