Debt saddled students may finally get the help they need to pay for college. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act – if passed by Congress – provides the largest post-secondary reinvestment in decades. Following the commitment outlined by Obama earlier this year, Congress is now taking the lead, showing that quality, affordable college education is critical to move the country forward.
Below is the boost to student aid outlined by the legislation:
• Investing $40 billion to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $6,900 by 2019. Starting in 2010, the scholarship will be linked to match rising costs-of-living by indexing it to the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent;
• Investing $3 billion to bolster college access and completion support programs for students;
• Strengthening the Perkins Loan program, a campus-based program that provides low-cost federal loans to students;
• Keeping interest rates low on need-based – or subsidized – federal student loans by making the interest rates on these loans variable beginning in 2012. These interest rates are currently set to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in 2012;
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