Thursday, September 06, 2007

Details of New Higher Ed Bill

The House and Senate passed their versions in July; here is the compromise. They could vote as soon as tomorrow.
New York Times.
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act will help address the dual financial challenges of access and affordability facing students. The legislation will:
  • Increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $490 in each of the next two school years, by $690 in the following two school years and by $1,090 in each additional year. The Pell Grant is the nation’s premier college access program, providing grants to 5 million low-income students each year. The maximum Pell Grant is currently $4,310. (This would make it $6,670 by 2010 by my count).
  • Create an Income Based Repayment program that allows borrowers to repay their loans as percentage of their income. Borrowers would be expected to pay 15% of any income above 150% of the poverty line (about $15,000 for a single individual). This new program will protect borrowers with low salaries from making unmanageable payments.
  • Reduce interest rates on student loans for more than 5 million low and middle-income student borrowers receiving subsidized Stafford loans. To see who would benefit from these interest rate reductions read U.S. PIRG’s report.
  • Finance increased education spending by reducing subsidies to student lenders. Lenders will receive a reduced rate of return for offering federal student loans and a slightly reduced reinsurance rate from the federal government. As a result, the increased grant aid and loan benefits will have no additional cost to taxpayers.

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