FSC Chairman Robert Antonucci said he is confident mothers and you will students have a tendency to come across alternative finance as time passes into the slip session

FSC Chairman Robert Antonucci said he is confident mothers and you will students have a tendency to come across alternative finance as time passes into the slip session

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The financial aid office at Fitchburg State College has received dozens of calls every day since the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority made its announcement.

FSC Dean of Enrollment Management, Pam McCafferty, said the MEFA announcement has left parents and students scrambling to find new loans in order to meet upcoming tuition due dates.

“The biggest problem, or the biggest impact this has had on our families is the confusion it’s caused,” she told the Sentinel & Enterprise recently.

MEFA Executive Director Tom Graf released a statement explaining the nonprofit authority was unable to secure money in time for loans in the upcoming fall semester.

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Graf advised students and families to work with college financial-aid officers and to exhaust all federal and state money they qualify for before seeking private loans.

McCafferty said MEFA had earlier announced it could face some financial trouble, so FSC’s financial-aid office sent out mailings to students and parents to advise them to consider possible alternatives.

MEFA loans were popular among parents of FSC students, with about 56 percent of them using MEFA financing to pay for college costs, McCafferty said.

The school can help parents maximize what they get in federal money, such as the parent PLUS loan, which has a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent, she said.

“The federal government has made some good changes in repayment policies,” she said. “The parent can actually now defer payment until after the student graduates.”

Antonucci called the MEFA failure “unacceptable,” saying it came at a time when families should be starting to get excited about going off to college.

“You don’t put parents and students in that situation this late in the game,” he said. […]