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 furor over President Obama's trillion-dollar restructuring of American health care has left his other trillion-dollar plan starved for attention. That's how much the federal balance sheet will expand over the next decade if Mr. Obama can convince Congress to approve his pending takeover of the student-loan market.

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From the Wall Street Journal's anti-SAFRA op-ed "The Quietest Trillion".

The response from the community has been incredible. Our local leaders, our families, our friends, our neighbors; more than 80,000 concerned citizens want our Senators to understand the economic impact of these jobs and the valuable services we provide students and families every day.

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Jon Kroehler, Senior Vice President of Sallie Mae.

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

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.