US Proposals 'Could Shut Poorest Students Out of Universities'

"Proposed changes to the law that governs the US higher education system could undermine universities’ efforts to increase access for low-income students and increase fraud within the sector, experts have warned," according to Times Higher Education

"A new bill, which is a major overhaul of the 1965 Higher Education Act, would end the subsidisation of student loan interest for certain means-tested loans, cut a programme that offers loan forgiveness to borrowers who work in public service jobs, set an unspecified cap on the amount of money that graduate students could borrow to cover tuition and living expenses, and eliminate a provision that allows borrowers to have part of their debt forgiven after making payments for 20 or 25 years.

...Terry Hartle, senior vice-president in the division of government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said that the current version of the bill, which was passed by the Republican-led House Committee on Education and the Workforce last month, is 'remarkably bad for students, very good for for-profit schools and banks and so-so for traditional colleges and universities.'

'The general thrust of the bill is to reduce the availability of student aid or to make it more expensive,' he said, adding that this 'could undermine efforts that American society and colleges and universities have made to increase access to post-secondary education for low-income students.'

Amy Laitinen, director for higher education at thinktank New America, added that the legislation would 'make it harder for poor students to pay [for university] and easier for them to be ripped off.'

'It could be called the 'for-profits Prosper Act', given the regulatory rollbacks and the opening of new loopholes…This bill would roll back the most basic consumer protections and create new avenues for exploitation,' she said."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 1/10/2018

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