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Education, School of

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Greater Texas Foundation


Should students who are academically underprepared for college have immediate, unrestricted access to student loans? Approximately 60% of community college students nationally are placed into developmental coursework and completion rates for these students are highly disappointing: only one in 10 earns a community college credential within three years, while one in three has earned a bachelor’s degree within six years (Complete College America, 2012). Although most developmental education (Dev Ed) students drop out before earning a degree, a recent national study found that in 2011-12, Dev Ed community college students (36%) borrowed at similar rates as their college-ready peers (38%) (Fernandez, Barone, & Klepfer, 2014). Dev Ed students are a vulnerable population of borrowers, as non-completion has consistently been identified as the strongest predictor of loan default (Gross et al., 2009)


This unpublished report is by Lyle McKinney, Heather Novak, Linda Serra Hagedorn, Borrowing Among Academically Underprepared Students: Facilitating Success or Perpetuating Inequity at the Community College? A report for Greater Texas Foundation. 2016

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