For Immediate Release
Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
Students in need of immediate financial help to pay for college have a new borrowing option. The SELF Loan program, which has provided more than $1.7 billion in loans to Minnesota students since 1984, is offering a fixed rate alternative to its variable rate loans. Undergraduate students may borrow up to $10,000 per year if pursuing a four-year degree and $7,500 if pursuing a two-year degree at an annual fixed rate of 7.25 percent.
Previously, the program offered only variable rate loans, with an interest rate that could fluctuate quarterly based on market conditions. The current variable rate is 3.85 percent. The state program is available to students attending postsecondary institutions in Minnesota as well as Minnesota residents attending hundreds of approved colleges outside the state. The SELF Loan program is a self-supporting enterprise that receives no direct state funding.
"Borrowing should be a last resort for students," said David Metzen, Director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, which administers the SELF Loan program. "But let's be clear. Borrowing is a better option than dropping out. This program is here to help students finish what they start and get out into the workplace with an increased earning capacity."
Today 55 percent of all Minnesota undergraduates have taken some form of federal or state loan and 77 percent of all four-year college graduates leave with at least some debt. The average debt at graduation for Minnesota undergraduates who borrow is $22,000.
The SELF Loan is typically used as an option for students who have exhausted their federal borrowing options. For more information about the SELF Loan visit www.selfloan.org.