Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act

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 taxpayers $61 billion and using that money to fund the rest of the bill.  It abolished the Federal Education Loan Program (FFELP)—which used publicly subsidized private loan companies to provide student loans.

SAFRA provided the Pell grant program with an infusion of $36 billion (over 10 years), increasing the maximum award to $5,550 in 2011.  SAFRA also ensures the program’s benefits will now grow with inflation every year, plus one percent.  SAFRA makes student loan interest rates variable, but caps interest rates at 6.8 percent to protect borrowers from unreasonably high rates.

SAFRA also increased funding for community colleges ($2 billion in available grants).

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”.

For decades, Sallie Mae has done great work to support millions of students and families and that is felt right here in Central Indiana through employment opportunities and economic development. With unemployment in our region at more than 10 percent, these are jobs we can’t afford to lose.

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Scott Faultless, President of the Fishers Town Council.

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.

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.

Evidence