Don’t Let Them Kill Student Loan Reform
March 11, 2010 - 4:36pm ET
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Something so simple, so easy: end tens of billions of dollars in bank subsidies to the private lending industry and return much of the savings back into the hand of students, with the Department of Education providing loans to students directly. A no-brainer right? Well reform may be a no-go, if six Senate Democrats have their way.
Senators Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Jim Webb (D-Va.) all have expressed concerns about student loan reform (known as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act) and urge for alternative proposals in order to protect lenders and jobs in their states. Fair enough, job losses –especially now –are never a good thing. However, even with reform, private lenders (that employ only around 30,000) will still play a big role in servicing loans –so job losses will be minimal or even increase with greater loan volume looking down the road. Click here for more common myths about student loan reform.
And how about the concern for students too? Students cannot afford to wait any longer, they need help now. Under reform legislation, the Pell Grant maximum would increase, thus allowing thousands more students to become eligible for aid. And making college affordable could not come at a better time. The average student debt has ballooned to over $23,000. Take a look at the increase in tuition over only the past two years at state universities for those Senate Democrats that stand in the way:
Univ. of Nebraska: over 11%
Univ. of Florida: 30%
Univ. of Arkansas: 7%
Univ. of Delaware: 16%
Univ. of Virginia: 14%
So who are some members of Congress really siding with? Students? Or Banks? Help make your voice heard here and tell the Senate to finish what the House already did, and pass student loan reform NOW!
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