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SPCC will opt out of offering fed loans
by Carolyn Steeves, The Enquirer Journal, January 4, 2012 

South Piedmont Community College will be opting out of a federal mandate that requires community colleges to offer federal loans.

SPCC offered federal loans many years ago, Rosemary Britt, director of marketing and communications for SPPC, said and “the default rate was extremely high.”

“There are penalties for having a high default rate,” Britt said. “The thinking was that we would have the same problems if we went back to federal loans.”

SPCC does not offer loans directly through the school, however, they accept the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) for the Pell grant.

“Many of our students are on financial aid,” Britt said.

In early 2011, the North Carolina House of Representatives ratified a bill giving community colleges the ability to opt out of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

The bill was vetoed by Gov. Beverly Perdue, stating that “More than 177,000 students would be denied access to the safest and least expensive method of borrowing money for college and North Carolina would be last among the 50 states in providing access to these loans.”

The legislature responded by passing a series of local bills.

“South Piedmont was part of the original group that asked to be allowed out,” State Rep. Craig Horn, R-68, said. He said they wanted it broken down into smaller groups so that they met the requirements for local legislation.

Local legislation cannot be vetoed by the governor. It requires unanimous support from the legislators that represent the area the legislation will impact.