Student loans. Goals and European experiences. Policy. Education

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1 Student loans Goals and European experiences Hans Vossensteyn Center for Higher Education Policy Studies International conference of the Rectorate of the University of Lisbon Increasing accessibility to higher education Some international examples on student loans Lisbon 2 - J u n e

2 Challenges to higher education Increasing demand for higher education services Limited public budgets Need for new income, therefore Cost sharing: Shifting part of the burden of HE costs from the government (taxpayers) to parents and students Johnstone Problem of access to higher education Loans deemed necessary but controversial because of debt aversion and perceived access problems

3 Indeed strong overrepresentation of higher socio-economic status groups Country % of students from ethnic % of fathers blue collar worker % of fathers with higher education % of students from lowest income minorities students all students all groups (quartile) Austria 17% 41% 26% 10% 17% Australia 4% 15% Belgium NL 50% 22% 3% Belgium FR 19% 45% 50% 15% Canada 16% 20% Finland 28% 30% 23% 14% France 20% 34% 38% 21% 12% Germany 19% 37% 37% 16% 7% Ireland 24% 38% 30% 19% Italy 14% 32% 19% 9% Netherlands 8% 39% 26% 9% UK 19% 13% USA 29%

4 Loans just one element in complex of students finances subsidies, grants GOVERNMENT budget, guarantees tax benefits, family allowances HE institutions budget, guarantees intermediaries / banks loans parents tuition fees grants, scholarships, loans, tuition waivers parental contributions grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, loans STUDENTS free earning amount jobs

5 Loans: potential ways GOVERNMENT BANKS budget guarantee student support agency loans loans STUDENTS

6 Why student loans? Individuals lack the funds to pay for their schooling No collateral; uncertainty banks hesitant to provide loans Financing constraints reduced participation: not desired! Student loans (subsidised): - overcome financing constraint - shift net benefit of schooling (through subsidies)

7 Types of student loans Voluntary (universal) loans - government; all (fulltime) students Means-tested loans (income-tested; need-based) - government, HE institutions, banks Merit-based loans - institutions, banks Public versus private loans

8 Loans: characteristics Covering tuition costs and/or living expenses Amounts and number of installments Repayment conditions - mortgage type (fixed repayment period) - income contingent loans (flexible) Interest subsidies / repayment guarantees - who takes the risk? Loan remission / debt forgiveness (waiving debt) - based on performance - specific occupation (or area) - canceling debt at end of repayment period

9 Loans: Practices / experiences

10 Loans: practices Introduction of student loans - Australia, UK, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Hong Kong, Chile, Replacing grants with student loans - US, Netherlands, UK,... - decline in value of grants: CE-Europe, Public loans versus private loans - private loans in: France, Slovenia, Portugal... but not popular Repayment conditions: conventional / income contingent - IC: Australia, Chile, Hungary, South Africa and UK, - but not in Canada

11 Case studies England + Schotland Netherlands Sweden Finland Hungary Germany

12 United Kingdom (E + W) GOVERNMENT budget Student Loans Company Tax authorities loans repayments STUDENTS

13 UK: introduction of loans Introduction of top up loans in 1990 Voluntary loans next to means-tested maintenance grants Repayment conditions - mortgage type, 10 years repayment period, fixed installments - zero real rate of interest Gradual replacement of grants by loans - mid 1990 s: grants frozen, loans increased all grants cancelled and only student loans available - but since 1998 tuition grants / waivers

14 UK: current loans As from 1999 income contingent loans, also tuition loans Voluntary but means-tested loans - poor students get full loans, rich students only 75% Repayment conditions - income contingent, repay 9% of all income over / year ( / year as from April 2005) - through tax authorities - zero real rate of interest Experiences - proportion of borrowers from 28% in 1990 to 81% in amount of maintenance loans in , tuition loan average debt in support too little, students remain poor credit card debt; work - debt aversion, particularly low-income students (tuition + full loans?)

15 Schotland: : special case Since 2001 tuition fees as deferred graduate payment Student loans run through SLC (Glasgow) - complaints that it is too expensive administratively Proposals and plans to abolish deferred tuition payment as well as turn loans into grants (in 2008/2009)

16 Netherlands GOVERNMENT budget Information Management Group loans repayments STUDENTS

17 Student support (independent students) Free earning amount p/y Total budget 892 Supplementary grant 228 Parental contribution 228 Tuition loan 128 Voluntary loans 280 Basic grant 256

18 Student support (living at home) Free earning amount p/y Total budget 709 Supplementary grant 209 Parental contribution 209 Tuition loan 128 Voluntary loans 280 Basic grant 92

19 Netherlands: tendencies Basic grant Suppl. grant / parental contr. Loan

20 Netherlands: loans Covering part of living expenses and tuition costs Voluntary loans (up to 408 per month / per year) - also possible to replace parental contributions with loans ( 228) - but: also all grants initially given as loans Repayment conditions - mortgage type (2-year grace period, 15-year repayment period) - means-test possible reduced repayments amounts (5% - 10%) - average debt around (max up to ) - all outstanding debt after 15 years forgiven Interest - students pay the interest rate on state loans (4.17% in 2008) Experiences - amounts of support too small - about 30% take up loans (but increased rapidly last years) - students work to increase living standard and to prevent borrowing - delays in study duration

21 Graduate debt and repayment scenarios Average debt in in in Total debt \ interest 2% 3% 4% 5%

22 Sweden GOVERNMENT budget CSN Swedish National board of Student Aid grants / loans repayments STUDENTS

23 Sweden: student support Grants and loans are given in a package - grants ( 69 per week); loans ( 131 per week) - students older than 25: additional loans ( 44 per week) - if earnings exceed 280 per week, support reduced Maximum # of weeks to get support: 240 (5 years) - maximum debt: (or ) Interest - students pay a low interest rate (4% in 2007)

24 Sweden: loans Repayment conditions: old system ( ) - income contingent loans - repayments 4% of income - students maximised loans: interest higher than 4% most would not repay debt Repayment conditions: new system (since 2001) - mortgage type - 6 month grace period - 25 years of repayment (or until aged 68) - minimum repayment amount: 670 / year (or reduction to 5% of income) - in case of problems ask for lower repayment amounts - repayment per month, 3 months or per year Experiences - many students took up loans but reducing - lifelong debt burdens - students replace loans with income from work

25 Finland Support a mix of grants, loans and housing supplement - per month: grants 259, loans 300, housing supplement max 202 Repayment conditions of loans - bank loans from Finnish banks guaranteed by the government - interest, repayment and other conditions agreed between bank and student - student loan tax deduction: 30% tax deduction of all debt over Experiences - proportion of borrowers around 40% - support too little, students massively take jobs

26 Hungary Since 2001 an income contingent loans scheme Hungarian Student Loans Company runs the system - lends money to students, issues credit lines from private banks - max amount is 1200 p/a (living costs 2400) - interest: Treasuray rate (7%) + 2% risk + 1% administration Repayment conditions - minimum monthly repayment (discipline) - first 2 years 6% of minimum wage - afterwards 6% of taxable income of 2 years before (HSLC receives income info from tax authorities) - default: after 6 months on borrowing black list Experiences - 36% of students take up the loans ( ) - repayment equals 98,5% of scheduled repayments - administration costs around 1% - risk not equally spread yet - prepare for tuition fees

27 Germany BAFöG: 50% grants and 50% loans; for about 35% of students, all students indirect support New loans related to tuition arrangements: each Land its own mechanism Repayment conditions, for BAFöG loans - no interest during any period - 5-year grace period after graduation, 25-year repayment period - maximum debt kept at in case of good performance part of debt cancelled Experiences - proportion of borrowers limited (but obligatory if one takes a grant) - high public subsidies - very costly but still students strongly oppose to these loans - no borrowing culture yet

28 Some private loans via banks examples GOVERNMENT BANKS guarantee France / Slovenia loans Unfavourable conditions - high interest; short repayment period Not popular STUDENTS

29 Hidden grants in student loans Ziderman Shen, 2007

30 Debt and starting salaries Usher, 2005

31 Impact of tuition & support In general students are not very price sensitive except low SES students Student loans have an ambiguous position - they do not promote access that well - low-ses students indicate to be debt averse Non-financial factors are more important in student choice - parental education & income, gender, academic preparation Support often too little: students remain poor - credit cards, personal loans, part-time jobs - high private debts and study delays

32 Information / communication Students & parents often have poor information Danger negative perceptions: debt aversion & access problems! COMMUNICATION! Due to being uninformed, not interested or principally against student borrowing But this does not mean one does not attend higher education or that one does not take up student loans!

33 Wrap up: recommendations Large variation in loan practices Most loans systems are complex: keep it simple Most loans contain substantial subsidies: make visible Loans (+ other support) too small: substantial amounts Prospective students have poor information: communicate!

34 Address Thank You!

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