Some -- not all-- of the money will go to improve higher education access, notably:
- $40 billion over 10 years to increase the maximum Pell Grant to $5,550 and ensure that it would increase annually by the rise in the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent.
- $10 billion to community colleges in support of President Obama's American Graduation Initiative, designed to produce 5 million more two-year college graduates by 2020.
Once the second most profitable company in the entire Fortune 500, Sallie Mae has now been relegated to junk bond status and potential irrelevance. This should be a day of celebration for student advocates everywhere....
but, it must also be disappointing for those currently burdened by student loans, as the bill does nothing to make those burdens more manageable. Student borrowing jumped by 25% last year, defaults and delinquencies are up, tuition is up. 100% Direct lending is a great first step, but it's only the first step.