Today, the U.S. House of Representatives took a giant step forward in comprehensive student aid reform. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, introduced by Education Committee Chairman George Miller, invests billions of dollars in financial aid at no new expense to taxpayers. The United States Student Association, along with college students nationwide, is ecstatic about Congressman Miller’s unsurpassed commitment to higher education.
“With college students graduating tens of thousands of dollars in debt, now is the time for the government to revitalize its financial aid programs,” said USSA President Carmen Berkley. “The funding increases in this bill will directly affect many of the USSA’s 4.5 million members, along with millions of other low- and middle-income students across the county.”
Maximizing the Pell Grant is essential for the over 6 million college students who rely on these funds to stay in college. The bill increases the Pell’s maximum award amount to $5,550 in 2010, which is a great step in stabilizing this cornerstone of need-based aid. In addition, lowering interest rates on federally subsidized loans will lessen the financial burden for the 5.5 million low-income students who are forced to borrow these loans each year.
The USSA believes that education is right, not a privilege, and will be actively supporting this historic legislation as a means to help millions of students and potential students realize their dream of achieving a college degree.