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Nearly 1 Million Community-College Students Lack Access to Federal Student Loans

Nine percent of community-college students, or nearly one million people, attend institutions that don’t participate in the federal student-loan program, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Institute for College Access and Success.

According to the group’s latest report, some community colleges say they opt out of federal student loans to keep students from borrowing too much money. As a result, the report says, students feel pushed to take out more-expensive private loans or to rely on credit cards to finance their education.

Institutions in 32 states block federal student loans, the study found. About half of the community-college students who lack accesss to federal student loans are in California and North Carolina.

More than 20 percent of community-college students in Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah attend colleges that don’t participate in the federal student-loan program.

Correction (6/30/2016, 1:39 p.m.): This article previously stated that about half of the students in North Carolina and California could not take out federal student loans. It has been corrected to state that half of the community-college students who do not have access to student loans are located in California and North Carolina.

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