Thousands of Michigan State Spartans will need to find another way to pay for college

Nathaly Ordonez
Colombian-born immigrant Nathaly Ordonez, 23, browses the tuition-free, online University of the People's home page, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in New York, while looking at her next semester's classes and studying with boyfriend Shota Hanawka. Ordonez, had nearly abandoned the idea of college because it was too expensive, but is now studying business so she can work in advertising when she graduates. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The expiration of a popular student loan program could negatively affect thousands of Michigan State Spartans.

Congress didn’t renew the decades-long running Perkins loan program and Keith Williams, a senior associate director for MSU’s financial aid office says next year it’ll be a bit tougher for some to afford higher education.

“It’s big and I can tell you some students at MSU are going to feel the impact of the expiration of the federal Perkins loan program.”

Michigan State University awards roughly $5-million dollars to about 4,000 students who qualify due to need, every year.

Perkins loans are extremely popular too because the loan is set at a 5% interest rate with zero interest accruing until the borrower begins to repay the loan back, usually after graduation and with a degree in hand.

Many in Washington say the federal government didn’t re-new the Perkins loan program because lawmakers want to try and simplify federal financial aid. In the meantime, Williams says MSU is working to bridge the money loss gap.

“We’re already looking at some different options to help fill that void for students who would have qualified for the federal Perkins loan. They are talking about it right now, the administration here, so hopefully we’ll come up with something to help some of these students out.”

Despite the expiration of the Perkins loan program, Williams says the neediest students at MSU won’t be impacted. He says a program that’ll remain intact is the Spartan advantage program. Eligible students will receive grants, scholarships, and work study funds to cover the cost of tuition, room and board, and books.

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