College aid requests soar during economic downturn.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that record numbers of college students “are lining up for financial aid – and asking for more of it – as the nation’s economic woes hit campuses across the country.” Across the country, “8.9 million students filed federal student aid forms during the first half of 2008, a 16.3 percent increase over the same period last year.” In California alone, 999,594 students requested federal financial aid during the first half of 2008, up 20 percent from last year.