Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brookings Panel Discusses Student Loan Programs & Expansion of Pell

May 26, 2009—Today, a panel of experts discussed the future of financial aid at a Brookings Institution Brown Center on Education Policy Event in Washington D.C. Deputy Undersecretary of Education Robert Shireman represented the Obama Administration and the Department of Education on the panel. Celia Sims (R-NC), legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), also was included on the panel. Sen. Burr is Co-Chair of the Senate Community College Caucus.

The discussion included the Obama Administration’s proposal to convert the federal loan programs into a single direct-lending program and use savings from taking these actions to support expansion of the Pell Grant program.

The panelists supported a simple, transparent and predictable financial-aid process and programs to encourage greater higher-education enrollments and completion.

The full panel included:


  • Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst
    Senior Fellow, Governance Studies


  • Robert Shireman
    Deputy Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education
  • Michael McPherson
    President, The Spencer Foundation
  • Sandy Baum
    Senior Policy Analyst, College Board & Professor of Economics, Skidmore College
  • Philip Day
    CEO and President, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Celia Sims
    Legislative Assistant, Office of U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC)

For more information, visit the Brookings Institution Web site.

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