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New state student loan program to start Monday

4:38 PM, Jun 15, 2011   |    comments
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ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia students can now apply for low-interest loans aimed to help families that need extra help paying for college.

State lawmakers set aside $20 million this year for the program as part of an overhaul to the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship that cut back the awards for most students. But according to lawmakers, fewer than 6,000 students will get loans.

Tim Connell, president of the Georgia Student Finance Commission, said the average loan award will be $3,500 with a maximum award of $10,000. If requests exceed the money available, a computer will randomly select who gets loans.

Loans will have a 1 percent interest rate. To qualify, students must graduate high school with a 2.5 GPA and maintain at least a 2.0 in college.

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