The credit crunch has officially arrived on campus: In a new survey, private colleges report their students are finding it significantly harder to secure the private loans they need to pay tuition bills. Furthermore, nearly half of colleges say some students have been forced to take time off or go part-time as a result.

The survey, released Oct. 21 by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, confirms anecdotal evidence that the federal financial aid system so far has held up reasonably well during the financial meltdown.

But the survey paints a more troubling picture for students who need private loans to supplement


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