January 10, 2001
Roderick Paige Gets a Passing Grade at
Education Secretary-Designate Roderick Paige won cautious
praise from student aid advocates today, but advocates are
still waiting for more information on the Education nominee
for President-Elect Bushs Cabinet.
went before the Senate Health, Education, Labor Pensions Committee
today in a confirmation hearing for his nomination by President-Elect
position on higher education issues has been relatively unknown,
and today's confirmation hearing did little to reveal more
of his policy on student aid issues.
received high marks from all of the Senators present and will
almost certainly be quickly approved by the full Senate.
Despite the widespread praise from Senators, the hearing
did not bring attention to several important issues, such
as the increasing levels of student indebtedness or the imbalance
between grant aid and loans in helping students pay for college.
still don't really know where Roderick Paige stands on many
issues, such as the burden of loan debt for graduating students,"
said Tracey King, an Associate with the State PIRGs Higher
response to a question about his commitment to the continued
existence of the Direct Loan Program, Paige said that he would
like to see that option remain available to students. However, he gave no details, and the
higher education community is anxious to learn more about
the new Administrations position regarding the lawsuit
some members of the loan industry have filed against the Department
lawsuit would increase the fees for Direct Student loans and
drive many schools out of the program.
Many student aid supporters are concerned that the
lawsuit was filed with the intention of eliminating the ability
of the Direct Loan Program to compete with the FFEL program.
also stated that he supports front-loading Pell grants.
However, he did not expand on the proposal that President-elect
Bush referred to in his campaign. Front-loading involves increasing
the maximum grant for first-year students, under the assumption
that students who attend one year of college are more likely
to continue on to graduation.
still waiting to see the details of Paige's position on a
lot of these student aid issues," said King.