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Abstract

Loan borrowing among community college students has increased in recent years. This study utilized original survey data to examine this trend from the perspective and firsthand experiences of 107 community college financial aid counselors from three states: California, Florida, and Texas. Findings indicate these counselors are concerned with the increase in borrowing and the prospects for future financial hardship among borrowers at their colleges. There are indications that many borrowers do not fully understand the long-term consequences of taking on loans. While students need tailored advice about borrowing and debt management, the financial aid counselorto- student ratio at many community colleges makes this extremely challenging. Findings indicate the need to reevaluate borrowing guidelines for part-time community college students, improve students’ financial literacy, and equip financial aid offices with the resources needed to meet students’ growing demand for financial aid services.

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