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Save Student Aid
Between 2006 and 2011, Congress made unprecedented changes to the Pell Grant Program and Federal Student Loans resulting in real gains for students.
- The Pell Grant Program, the foundation of our nation’s need-based financial aid system, grew from almost $13 billion a year in 2006 to almost $36 billion a year in 2011. The Pell grant maximum grew from $4,310 to $5,550.
- New repayment tools, such as the Income Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness options, were created to help students reduce their student loan debt burdens and better manage their debt payments.
- Reduced interest rates on student loans for on-time payments and decreased interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans have helped decrease the cost of borrowing for millions of students.
Unfortunately, the tone has changed in 2011. Many legislators are working to drastically reduce government spending. Because of the significant increases in aid during the economic downturn, student aid programs are now under intense scrutiny by budget negotiators. In recent budget deals, student aid programs were cut by about $30 billion. Graduate loan benefits and Year-round Pell were among several programs eliminated because of budget pressures.
This fall, the goal is to fend off cuts to student aid by educating public and lawmakers about the value of these programs. Congress must pass a budget for next year, with a new deadline of November 18. At the same time, the bipartisan “Super Committee” created by last summer’s debt ceiling legislation, must produce a deficit reduction plan by Thanksgiving. If the deal is struck, then the plan is all but assured passage by the entire Congress. It is important to prevent cuts to student aid in that plan!
Our main tactic is to secure a large number of signers to the ‘Save Student Aid’ statement of support from students, faculty, and college administrators. Congressional members will be presented with the signed support statements in an effort to educate them on the importance of maintaining student aid programs. Please take 30 seconds out of your day to click on the logo above and sign the ‘Save Student Aid: Statement of Support’ asking Congress to keep college affordable for students and families by protect federal student aid programs.