On November 8, Texas voters will reconsider and vote on a series of constitutional amendments. One of these amendments is Proposition 3, in which the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board seeks voter authorization to issue bonds for the purpose of funding student loans. This loan is known as the College Access Loan. The CAL program offers a low, fixed interest rate and is exclusive to Texas residents.
Daryl Horn, associate director of Counselors for Student Financial Services, belives that the CAL has “proven to be a very important part of [students’] financial plan for taking care of college expenses.”
“It is the loan of choice because students recognize it as the best choice out there,” Horn said.
The CAL program has been reauthorized in six elections since 1965. THECB continues to promote the bond-funded program as the seventh election approaches. The CAL’s interest rate sits at 5.25% while other private loans hold a much higher rate. The Federal PLUS Loan has an interest rate of 7.25%. THECB estimated that students who acquire a $20,000 CAL would save $7,500 in interest payments over 20 years when compared to the Federal PLUS loan.
After all scholarships and grants are applied, 30% of ACU students are able to pay their balance without loans. The remaining 70% rely on loans to complete payment. Of this 70%, 367 students use the CAL, equaling about $5.7 million. The Federal PLUS loan is used by 302 students, and other private student loans are used by 211 students.
Those eligible for the CAL program must: 1) be a Texas resident; 2) be enrolled at least half-time; 3) meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements set by ACU; and 4) receive a favorable credit evaluation or provide a cosigner with good credit standing.
Early voting ends tonight at 7 p.m. at the Taylor County Department of Motor Vehicles. Voting begins November 8. To find your voting district, call the Taylor County Elections Office at 674-1216.