Student Aid Activists
Fr: Ellynne Bannon, State PIRGs' Higher Education Project
November 6, 2001
Urge Congress to Support Low Cost Student Loans and to Fully
Fund the $4,000 Pell Grant Maximum Award ***
is considering a proposal to secure low loan costs for students.
The proposal represents a consensus between students, higher
education associations, and the loan industry. The proposal
would maintain the current loan formula structure for several
years and then switch students to a low fixed rate.
contact your Senators and Members of Congress and urge them
to support this consensus agreement as it delivers low cost
loans to students and maintains the viability of the student
comes at a time when students are not only struggling with
increasing levels of debt. Almost half of all seniors graduate
with more than $19,000 in debt, and over the past seven years
student debt has more than doubled to $35 billion each year.
In addition, nearly one-third of all low-income students work
more than 35 hours per week to cover college costs.
protect the new $4,000 Pell Grant maximum, as promised in
both the House and Senate FY 2002 appropriations bills.
we learned that thousands more Pell-eligible students than
expected are attending college this year. This is good news.
It means that an increasing number of poor students see a
college education as possible, and thousands of Americans
who have lost their jobs in the economic downturn are choosing
to improve their career options by going back to school.
also means that the Pell Grant program is facing a $1.7 billion
shortfall. To solve this problem, the administration has proposed
reducing next year's planned increase in the Pell Grant maximum
from $4,000 to its current level of $3,750. This is a bad
approach, and one that threatens to halt the significant progress
we have made in recent years to restore the buying power of
the Pell Grant program.
representatives today and urge them to a) support the consensus
proposal to keep student loan costs low and to b) fully fund
the $4,000 Pell Grant maximum award.
Senators and Members of Congress by using the student aid
hotline: 1 (800) 574-4AID.
Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
House Switchboard: (202) 225-3121
of the continuing concern about anthrax contamination, members
of Congress cannot receive standard mail, except in their
district offices. Senators whose offices are in the closed
Hart Senate Office Building have temporary fax numbers, which
can be obtained by calling their state offices (listed in
the blue section of the telephone book). You can also reach
any office by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.