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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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45. Student Loan Primer

Our parents always told us that hard work was the only road to success, but if they’re so “successful” why are we stuck with all these student loans?

—Wake Forest University student, CollegeHumor.com

In the summer of 2007, the U.S. Department of Education sent letters to 721 colleges, universities, and trade schools where student lending practices seemed fishy. The government determined that the source of most of the student loans at each of these schools came from one lucky lender. At all these schools, a solitary lender held at least 80% of the institution’s federal student loan volume. On some campuses, a single lender presided over a monopoly.

Because many lenders are eager to provide loans to college kids, you’ve ...

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