A study done by USA Today from 2009 showed that Macon State College and Middle Georgia College both had a higher percentage of students defaulting on loans than graduating.
RELATED: More MSC, MGC Students Default on Loans Than Graduate
The study showed at Macon State, around 12 percent of students graduated, while around 18 percent defaulted on loans.
Since the study, both colleges merged into Middle Georgia State College. Officials there say the graduation rate may be higher because the study did not account for students to transfer and graduate from another school.
Director of Financial Aid Patricia Simmons says around 60 percent of MGSC students take out loans. She says the number may be high because of a high population of students not on a traditional timetable of attending college right out of high school.
"A lot of these students have children that they have to pay daycare for, that they have to pay housing and expenses, or rent," Simmons explains.
One of those students is Michael Viox, a senior at MGSC. He used to work in construction but decided to go to college to expand his career opportunities. He uses a Pell grant, but since that only covers tuition, he took out student loans for his other expenses.
"I need the student loans for everything else," Viox explains. "A roof over my head, gas in the car to get to and from school, and food in my kids' belly."
A semester of tuition and fees for a in-state student at Middle Georgia State College costs around $1,500.
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