12/09/2007 - When Iowa set up a corporation to make student loans more available, it hoped to expand access to college. Now state officials are investigating whether the corporation’s aggressive practices to get business help explain why Iowa’s college graduates have the nation’s second-highest debt burden per student.
The nonprofit Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, created in 1979, has become the dominant student lender in the state, with 400 employees and $3.3 billion in outstanding loans. Its officials, in recently disclosed e-mail messages, emphasized “continued ‘hypergrowth’” and benefits of “an aggressive, offensive strategy to bring in new loan volume.”
Some Iowa lawmakers, after hearings this fall, threatened to strip it of its authority to issue tax-free bonds, raising its costs, and the attorney general is investigating its business practices and governance.
It is just one of several state-created lenders that have come under scrutiny.
Read the full article College Loans by States Face Fresh Scrutiny on The New York Times Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Project on Student Debt Web site or visit the The Project on Student Debt on PewHealth.org.