ATLANTA (AP) - Students at some for-profit colleges in Georgia may have to wait a little longer to qualify for state loans.

Under a bill that passed the Georgia Senate 31-17 on Wednesday, proprietary colleges must be operating in the state 14 years before students can get loans from the Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corp. State law now requires institutions to have been open 10 years.

The bill, which passed the House in February, now goes to the governor's desk.

House Higher Education Committee Chairman Seth Harp says the bill will help prevent cuts to the state's student loan system, which hasn't been immune to the state's budget crisis.

Opponents say the bill unfairly targets schools like the University of Phoenix and Troy University, which have been operating in the state less than a decade.


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