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

Here is what they haven't told us: The Education Department will borrow money at 2.8 percent from the Treasury, lend it to you at 6.8 percent and spend the difference on new programs. So you'll work longer to pay off your student loan to help pay for someone else's education -- and to help your U.S. representative's reelection.

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

Currently, students have the option to choose between private and public lenders, and I am a firm believer that such choice and competition among lenders is the best proven method for reducing costs and improving services. By omitting private lenders, we would create a monopoly within the federal government regarding student loans.

-
From a statement issued by moderate representative Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) after the House approved SAFRA.

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.

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

There's Washington, and then there's the rest of the country. This is the rest of the country….We don't want just any old jobs. We want our jobs.

-
Albert L. Lord, Sallie Mae's CEO, Chronicle of Higher Education.

Evidence