Lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow community colleges to opt out of offering low interest federal loans to students. Legislation enacted last year would require all community colleges to participate in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. It allows students to borrow directly from the federal government. But some community college presidents say if too many students fail to repay these loans it may jeopardize the institutions' ability to provide other federal financial aid.
Republican Senator Rick Gunn is from Burlington:
"This bill will simply allow the community colleges to opt out of participating at a resolution of their board of trustees, they can decline to participate in the program, if however they do elect at some other time by resolution to rescind that, they can opt back in the program. "
Democrats fear the measure will make it harder for students to pay for college. The bill now heads to the governor's desk.