New requirements for popular student loan hit HBCU hard - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

New requirements for popular student loan program hits HBCU hard

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Changes to a popular government student loan are making it difficult for thousands of students to afford college this school year.

That's according to a new report about making the requirements to the federal PLUS loan program more stringent.

Adam Miller, a freshman at a local college, says it was a struggle to find the money to pay for his education.

"Very frustrating," he recalled. "I was lucky with what I had. Now next year, I don't know if it will look to good."

The more stringent requirements have hit historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) hard since more of their students come from low income families.

But Bobby Henderson, an alum of Fayetteville State University and parent of high school junior, says it's not just low-income families that are affected.

"It's going to be very hard for our youth of today especially those youth that come from families that's middle income and upper income," he said. 

In fact, Henderson isn't sure how he'll help his son pay for college in a couple of years.

"Basically you only really have two avenues: either you gotta be a heck of an athlete or you gotta be a very outstanding student," he said.

Still, Henderson is committed to helping his son find a way.

"Still send your child to school," he pointed out. "Cause that's what it's all about -- higher education. But the method in terms of how it's going to be paid for is going to be much harder now."

The U.S. Department of Education made the changes to the PLUS loan program in an effort to make sure government loans line up with industry standards to decrease the rate at which students default on the loans.

Copyright 2013 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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