Texans rejoice – ‘B on Time’ loans renewed for returning students
Reported by Erin Wood in The Battalion
Texas colleges received notification Friday that returning students who renewed “B on Time” loans would be given them.
“We received our allocation notice from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Friday afternoon indicating their intent to honor all renewal requests,” said Joe Pettibon, head of student financial aid at Texas A&M.
The B on Time loan rewards students who graduate in four years with at least a B average by eliminating their debt. If students fail to meet these guidelines they are able to pay the loan back, interest free.
“I am very thankful that they are continuing to offer the B on Time loan to returning students,” said Jessica Haney, a senior agriculture business major. “It has been essential to my college education.”
Haney said the B on Time loan is very helpful because it forces her to work hard to get through school and maintain a high GPR.
James Gibson, a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin, said that UT has said that all summer freshmen will receive the loan, whereas all regular freshmen entering in the fall will have their loans cut.
Because incoming students will not receive B on Time loans, Texas A&M and UT are both working to find alternative methods to satisfy student’s financial needs.
A&M canceled more than 100 B on Time loans for incoming freshmen in mid-July.
“We are looking at each individual student and their financial aid package to find the best option for them,” Pettibon said
UT has a greater number of students to help, with more than 700 incoming freshmen no longer with B on Time loans.
“We are repackaging all of those affected,” said Charles Sorber, director of the student financial services office at UT. “In about one-third of the cases we will be able to provide TEXAS Grants; we are seeking alternative funding for the remainder.”
The B on Time loan is the only forgivable and interest-free loan offered to students; therefore it is difficult for colleges to find a satisfactory replacement.
“I am sure universities will attempt to replace the B on Time with substitutes, but they should be very careful in how they do so,” Gibson said. “A Perkins or similar loan is not an equal match to the B on Time. A Perkins loan guarantees debt, while the B on Time can eliminate debt if students do well in school.”
Gibson said the B on Time loan encourages students to succeed in their education by offering to take away their college debt; to take the loan away is an atrocity.