Act will help financially struggling families pay for a college education
U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, issued the following statement this week on President George W. Bush’s signing of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.
“Today is a momentous day for students and families struggling to pay for college. This bill will help ensure that no qualified student is prevented from going to college because of the cost. With the College Cost Reduction and Access Act signed into law, millions of students will receive much needed help to pay for college.”
“I am extremely proud that the Democratic Congress has provided the greatest investment to help students and parents pay for college since the GI bill and has delivered on our promise to make college more affordable and accessible for families. This legislation shows how the Congress and the President can work together to accomplish important things on behalf of American families.”
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (H.R. 2669) will provide the single largest increase in college aid since the GI bill. And it will do so at no new cost to taxpayers, by cutting excess subsidies paid by the federal government to lenders in the student loan industry.
Government officials believe the Act will:
Strengthen the Middle Class by Making College More Affordable-
Cutting interest rates in half on subsidized student loans over the next four years, saving the average student $4,400 over the life of the loan.
Making student loan payments more manageable for borrowers by guaranteeing that borrowers will not have to pay more than 15 percent of their discretionary income in loan repayments, and allowing borrowers to have their loans forgiven after 25 years.
Increase the Purchasing Power of the Pell Grant Scholarship-
Increasing the maximum Pell Grant scholarship to $5400 over the next five years, up from $4050 in 2006. Pell Grant scholarships will receive an overall increase of nearly $12 billion, almost double the investment of H.R. 2669. Combined with increases proposed by Congress this year, this legislation will significantly restore the Pell’s purchasing power.
Expanding eligibility through needs analysis to include and serve more students with financial need.
Eliminating tuition sensitivity to help the neediest students at the most cost efficient schools.
Ensure a Highly Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom-
Providing upfront tuition assistance to qualified undergraduate students who commit to teaching in public schools in high-poverty communities or high-need subject areas.
Encourage and Reward Public Service-
Providing loan forgiveness after 10 years for public servants, including military service members, first responders, firefighters, nurses, public defenders, early childhood educators, librarians, and others.
Encourage Philanthropic Participation in College Retention and Financing-
Establishing a partnership with federal, state and local government entities and philanthropic organizations through matching challenge grants aimed at increasing the number of first generation and low-income college students.
Make Landmark New Investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Tribally-Controlled Colleges and Universities, Alaska and Hawaiian Native Institutions, and Predominately Black Institutions-
Guaranteeing $510 million over five years.