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

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.

CBA also disputed administration claims that eliminating the FFEL program would not result in poorer customer service to students and parents. More than 30,000 people are currently involved in helping students via the FFEL program. These experts understand students' loan obligations and how to get students the help they need when facing difficultly in repaying their loans. Firing them and hiring some untrained replacements, as the President proposes, would be a huge setback for educational opportunity.

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

The good work Sallie Mae does to support millions of students and families across the country is also felt right here in Pennsylvania. The company has been part of this community for more than two decades and we need them to continue to provide employment opportunities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Todd Vonderheid, President of the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry

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.