Bill does not address rising tuition rates
Amidst the frustrating nature of economic inflation, the promising reforms of a new presidential administration and the thrills of unemployment, young scholars are finding a ray of hope in the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the major college aid plan which excludes private lenders from the student loan business in order to facilitate the subsidized loans through the federal government.’
The House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman George Miller, with his admirable commitment to quality and affordable education, sponsored this important legislation. The bill ensures that more students will have the opportunity to attend college and earn a degree.
Does this mean that students are permitted to indulge in newfound grants and actually enjoy education? It’s terrific that the government is finally trying to raise the standards of education in this country, but does this bill really provide an amenable atmosphere for students to pursue knowledge with less financial worries?’
The last few months have been painful for students facing the tuition hike and loan delays, but President Barack Obama’s reforms promise higher education aid. The measure boosts Pell Grants for needy students and creates getaway funds to improve community colleges and university graduation rates.
A statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described the bill as an enhancement giving ‘America’s college students the biggest increase in financial aid since the GI Bill.’
Assumedly, the bill will help restore America’s status as a global leader in education, producing a stronger analytical generation, which will hopefully lead to a stronger economy.’
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, though a rare fairy tale that may come true, is not without its flaws.’
Ending private loans by lenders and turning control over to the government would save taxpayers a pretty penny by increasing Pell Grants, yet it would do nothing to limit the rise of tuition rates. Republicans speculated that instead of saving the government money, the bill could end up plunging the government into more debt.’
Most likely, college students will not notice much difference in their loans. However, several notable universities including UH expressed concerns that they may not be able to switch to direct government loans in time for the 2010-11 school years. Not to mention that the FAFSA Education Department officials expressed no intention of extending the federal aid application deadline.
Another downside to this bill, noted by opposing Republicans, is layoffs of private loan employees. Sallie Mae, the biggest private student lender, has about 8,500 employees in the program. If the senate were to approve the bill, about 30 percent of those workers would lose their jobs. Democrat David Wu of Oregon said lenders could still make all the loans they want.
‘What will not happen anymore,’ Wu said, ‘is making those student loans with taxpayer subsidies.”
As a student, speaking from personal experience, the government makes it very difficult to provide free services to the general public.’
Unfortunately, this society worships the dollar. If the president dares to supply necessities such as education and health care, there is always the risk of being labeled a communist. From where I stand, that does not seem too bad at all.
Bissan Rafe is a biology senior and may be reached at [email protected]