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Which Universities Burden Parents With the Most Federal Debt?

The Education Policy program's analysis of Parent PLUS loan data was featured in a U.S. News and World Report series. Rachel Fishman was quoted:

"The reason why PLUS loans have come into play is that there just isn't enough financial aid to go around," says Rachel Fishman, deputy director for research with the Education Policy program at New America. "Families are reliant on all sources of aid. Limiting that source of aid will either curb access or send families into the private market, where they're going to get subprime loans."

Will these changes make parental overborrowing a relic of the past or put downward pressure on college costs? Not necessarily, experts say. Capping parent loans still doesn't get to the root of the college affordability problem, Fishman says. If it's not done in tandem with an increase in student grant aid to meet the high cost of attendance, then parents will still be left holding the bag when it comes to college costs.

"Capping loans isn't going to make college more affordable," Fishman says.