House Bill Would Restore Graduate Student Eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans

By Stephen Payne, Policy & Federal Relations Staff

Last month, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act. This bill, supported by NASFAA, would again allow graduate and professional students to receive subsidized Stafford loans. The bill would restore eligibility beginning in the 2016-2017 award year.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 eliminated graduate and professional student eligibility for the in-school interest subsidy as a means of reducing the federal budget deficit. With continued hesitation for legislation that increases the federal budget in Congress, the bill will likely not see action in this session of Congress.

Nonetheless, NASFAA joined 14 other higher education associations and institutions in support of the measure, and the bill has amassed 13 co-sponsors thus far, all Democrats.

“We want the best and the brightest, not just those that can afford it, to have access to postgraduate education,” Chu said in a press release. “At a time when our country is facing a shortage of specialized workers in critical fields, we should be doing everything we can to encourage students to enter these fields, rather than creating additional barriers to higher education,” she continued.


Publication Date: 1/5/2016

James C | 1/5/2016 1:33:58 PM

Working at an institution that has both graduate and undergraduate students I have mixed feelings about this. I used to see a sizeable number of graduate students just take the subsidized loan and probably bank it because these students didn't borrow any more once the subsidy went away. I would rather see graduate students have the same interest rate as undergraduate students and see fees eliminated for all federal loans.

Eileen E | 1/5/2016 9:47:12 AM

Before we bring back Subsidized Direct loan for graduate and professional student. Can we get SULA change first? SULA is going to hurt a lot of students in next three years than graduates and professional students not getting Subsidized Direct Loan.

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