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 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

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.

Legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, however, would require all federal student loans to be originated by the federal government, jeopardizing hundreds of private sector jobs in Wilkes-Barre and hampering related economic development in the state. Sallie Mae currently contributes more than $40 million annually to the local economy and has contributed millions to local charities.

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Industry press release from the Pennsylvania branch of Sallie Mae.

We also have concerns over the potential impact on Sallie Mae's operations in Delaware, which employs nearly 700 workers. We ask that as you draft the committee's mark ... you maintain a role for Sallie Mae in the student lending process that recognizes the important services Sallie Mae has provided millions of students and mitigates any potential job loss in Delaware.

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A letter from Delaware Senators Tom Carper (D) and Ted Kaufman (D) to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Labor, Education and Pensions. Hill’s Briefing Room blog.

Evidence