Thursday, May 21, 2009

House Committee Holds Hearing on Increasing Student Aid Through Loan Reform

Thursday, May 21, 2009 — Today, the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing to examine a proposal outlined by President Obama in his FY 2010 budget request, which would increase funding for the Pell Grant program by almost $94 billion over ten years and make Pell an entitlement program (mandatory). The President’s plan would be paid for by ending the subsidies the federal government currently pays to lenders in the Federal Family Education Loan program, which is the federally guaranteed student loan program, and re-directing those savings back into Pell. In turn, the move would originate all new loans starting in the academic year 2010-2011 under the Direct Loan program.

ACCT supports the Obama Administration’s effort to make the Pell Grant program into an entitlement program (mandatory). The proposal would also allow for Pell Grant maximum increases each year based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus one percent. Another component of this proposal would be the creation of a program focused on student access and success. This new program would be funded at $500 million or $2.5 billion over five years. The key committee witness was Robert Shireman, Deputy Undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education, who is leading the Department’s effort on Pell.

Click here for a webcast of today’s hearing.

ACCT encourages community college leaders to contact your members of Congress in support of reforming college aid to allow for stable Pell Grant program.

Contacting your legislators is easy at ACCT’s Policy Center.

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