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October 15, 2012 11:00 AM Students Not Getting Financial Counseling

By Daniel Luzer

American students aren’t getting the financial counseling they’re supposed to receive as a way to understand and pay off their student loans. According to a report released last week by Young Invincibles, conducted with NERA Economic Consulting:

Many students with financial aid desperately need a better information “roadmap” to help them navigate the process. This is particularly true for people like our survey respondents, whose average debt amount places them in the five percent of student loan borrowers who owe more than $75,000 in student loans.
Among these highly indebted current students and recent graduates… fully 40 percent of respondents with federal loans reported that they did not receive any form of counseling (either online or in-person) about their federal student loans, even though this counseling is mandated by law.

That’s right. Despite the fact that colleges are legally required to provide financial counseling to federal borrowers, many students report that they never got any.

Now, granted, it’s not really clear that this level of “counseling” would help much, but still, it’s in the law.

Now, let’s try to get some kids to sue about this one. Come on, people sue colleges about anything. Let’s try this one out. If the law requires that colleges provide students with financial counseling and then colleges fail to do so, what’s the punishment? Do students still owe the money?

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