With just under two legislative days until the deadline for reauthorization of the Perkins Loan Program, the House of Representatives made a big effort to give the program a temporary reprieve on Monday. The Higher Education Extension Act of 2015, which includes a provision to extend the Perkins Loan Program, easily cleared the House by a unanimous voice vote.
Along with Perkins, the Act also extends the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality Integrity.
The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Mike Bishop (R-MI) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), extends the authority to make loans under Perkins for one more year, until September 30, 2016. However, the extension comes at the cost of shortening the period during which grandfathered students may continue to receive loans, through March 31, 2018. It appears that the same restrictions on eligibility for grandfathered students would continue to apply: they must remain in the same academic major and the Perkins Loan amount must take into account any subsidized Direct Loan eligibility first.
“By supporting this responsible, bipartisan legislation, we will deliver certainty to students and institutions as we continue to work on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act,” Bishop said on the floor of the House in support of the bill.
Reps. Pocan, Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) all joined Bishop in speaking in favor of the legislation on the House floor.
While a bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution in support of the Perkins Loan program, no companion bill has been introduced in the Senate. In order to extend the program, the Senate must also vote to extend Perkins prior to the September 30, 2015, deadline. Stay tuned to Today’s News for the latest on this topic.
Publication Date: 9/29/2015