As Credit Woes Mount, Colleges See Hope in Bailout Bill

When President Bush signed into law a $700-billion bailout bill for the financial sector on Friday, financial officers at small private colleges were among those who breathed a sigh of relief.

The past few months have been stressful ones for the nation's less-wealthy independent colleges, which have seen interest rates on their outstanding debt spiral at the same time that borrowing has become more costly. Faced with rising debt payments and a higher cost of capital, many