A Shaky Season for Student Loans

Subprime woes and recent legislation have lenders tightening standards for applicants, and the credit crunch is eating away at other sources for tuition money

Shortly after New Year's Day, Pat Watkins, financial aid director at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., placed a worried call to National Education, a student loan company she has been working with for nearly two decades. She had heard rumors that the company was no longer funding federal Stafford and PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) education loans, but had received no official word from the company.

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