Student Loans

Student Loans

College costs are growing rapidly and financial aid hasn’t kept up. Close to 70 percent of undergrads graduate with debt. In 2009, the average student borrower owed $27,600.  The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) of 2010 ensures that all federally funded student loans will be directed through the federal government’s Direct Loan Program (DLP,) saving $61 billion and using that money to fund increased Pell Grant funding.  SAFRA abolished the Federal Education Loan Program (FFELP), which used subsidized loan companies to provide student loans. 

Cry Wolf Quotes

The federal education takeover is another example of the Democrats' willingness to use whatever tactics are necessary to advance their agenda to concentrate power in Washington—while they still can.

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From the Wall Street Journal's anti-SAFRA op-ed “That Other Government Takeover”.

The President's plan, although touted as a means of promoting higher education, is not. The plan does not reduce the cost of student loans for a single student. Students and parents need to know that under this proposal, the government's profits on student loans borrowed by middle income students will be used to finance other student aid.

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The Consumer Bankers Association’s Director of Government Relations, Marcia Z. Sullivan. Consumer Bankers Association’s press release.

Gone will be the days when students and their colleges picked the lender that best fit their needs; instead, a federal bureaucrat will make that choice for every student in America based on still-unclear guidelines.

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Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) published this anti-SAFRA op-ed in The Washington Post.

As the national struggle to deal with a severe economic crisis and a national unemployment rate of 8.1 percent — the highest level since 1983 — it is a critical time to reinforce successful solutions, not abandon them. Ensuring the continuation of thousands of jobs for individuals singularly focused on helping millions of students enter and succeed in higher education is a “win-win” in today’s deeply stressed economy. It preserves jobs for the workers of today, while guaranteeing access to aid to millions of students whose skills will help maintain the nation’s pre-eminent place in the global economy.

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From a March, 2009 memo circulated around Capitol Hill by student loan lobbyists.

Evidence

Resources

Campus Progress is the youth wing of the Center for American Progress. They do work in both advocacy and journalism.

Higher Education Watch is the New America Foundation's blog about the politics and policy of higher education.