More uncertainty for students after debt downgrade

FRESNO, Calif.

Students and their parents went to a Visalia church Monday night to learn more about the realities of college from school administrators. From their perspective, the state of education is concerning due to budget cuts. "It seems strange to me that you're starting a community college and there aren't enough sections of English I. That seems odd to me," said parent Renee Case.

Mindy Martin will be a freshman at College of the Sequoias this fall. Even before attending her first class, she's already experiencing anxiety. "It seems like things are going to get harder. It doesn't look like things are going to get easier anytime soon. The financial aid situation and just everything... it seems to be a lot harder than I thought it would be," said Martin.

Now, adding to that uncertainty are student loans that could be impacted by a sell off on Wall Street and America's debt downgrade. Fresno financial advisor Sandy Brown said now that the U.S. Education Department has purchased student loans, borrowers could be impacted by the country's credit rating. "The people who are currently involved in loans right now. But that's not to say that the people looking to get loans as far as higher education could be affected. There's so much uncertainty as far as these things are concerned because they're all intertwined," said Brown.

But even amid the worries, both students and college leaders are certain about one thing: the importance of a college education. "Higher education matters. Our message to students is go to school. It will help you in terms of how much money you will make and where's its going to take you," said Dr. D. Merrill Ewert, the president of Fresno Pacific University.

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