by Jeff Sovern
I've been studying up on student loans because we intend to include some materials on them in the next edition of our casebook. One thing I've learned is that the federal Higher Education Act and its implementing regulations require students obtaining federal student loans to have counseling before they take the loans. See 34 CFR § 682.604(f). But the word "counseling" is a little misleading in this context; schools may provide the necessary information in person, online, or in written form. How effective is the in-person variety of counseling (you could argue that one-on-one counseling is the only kind of counseling that really is counseling, but never mind)? Well, when Elgin Community College started requiring students to meet one-on-one with a counselor, students borrowed 13% less, on average. The report is here.