24 , 2002
Loan Interest Rate Legislation (S. 1762) Will Make College
More Affordable For Millions
Statement of Ellynne Bannon, Higher Education Advocate
are very pleased by the final passage in the House of Representatives
today of the Johnson student loan interest rate bill (S.1762).
This legislation is an important step in making college more
affordable for millions of Americans. S.1762 will lower interest
rates on Federal student loans, saving the typical student
borrower $680 over the life of their loan, even by conservative
last several months, PIRG has worked closely with other student
advocates and the lending community to develop a compromise
that will deliver low cost loans to student borrowers and
maintain the stability of the guaranteed student loan program.
We're confident that S.1762 does this and we applaud the passage
of this provision.
was brought up on the last day of the session this past December,
under the suspension of rules calendar, but fell short of
the two-thirds majority needed by 13 votes. We understand
that those who voted against S.1762 did so not because they
opposed the bill, but because other key legislation was not
considered that day.
costs skyrocket, and grant aid decreases, increasing numbers
of students are turning to loans as the primary mechanism
to finance a college education. The typical student graduates
with more than $16,000 in debt. One third of all seniors will
graduate with more than $20,000 in student loan debt. S.1762
is a key step to ensuring that college is affordable for the
Representatives George Miller (CA), John Boehner (OH), and
Howard "Buck" McKeon (CA) for championing low cost
loans for students and for ensuring that this important legislation
was brought to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy
groups. The Higher Education Project was established in 1994
to secure more aid for students, with a focus on additional
grants, reduced debt, and better service to students in the
federal financial aid system. www.pirg.org/highered