New Initiative, House Passage of H.R. 2669

Financial Aid Pledges to Reduce Student Debt

Students deserve to know that going to the right college does not have to mean a lifetime of hazardous debt. Some colleges and universities are changing their financial aid policies and communications strategies to send this message, minimizing or eliminating student loans for students from low- and middle- income families. To make these programs easier to understand and compare, we have created a list that describes them in standard language, with detailed descriptions, a glossary, and resources to help more institutions develop similar policies. Thanks to the Ford Foundation for its support of this new initiative.

House Passes Landmark Student Loan Reform

Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, with a strong vote of 273 to 149. In addition to a long-overdue Pell grant increase, this bill includes a new Income Based Repayment program, based on our Plan for Fair Loan Payments, which would cap federal student loan payments at a reasonable percentage of income and cancel remaining debt after 20 years of income-based repayment. The new program is available to past, present, and future borrowers. The Senate is expected to vote on similar legislation before the August recess.

Please urge your senators to support Income Based Repayment.

See Project Executive Director Robert Shireman’s statement about yesterday’s vote.

(This message was sent to the Project on Student Debt mailing list on July 12, 2007.)