student tuition bills

Bills in Brief

With rising tuitions increasingly putting the pinch on middle income families, Congress passed a handful of measures in '07 designed to ease the cost of sending little Joey to college. Below is snapshot of the bills the House and Senate considered with what was finally passed.

Round 1

Congress started off with HR 2669, sending the president a final bill in September '07. In it, maximum Pell grants were hiked to $5,400, graduates who entered civil service jobs for ten years got their loans forgiven, loan payments were capped at 15% of a grad's income and interest on federally backed loans was whittled down to 3.4% - all paid for by $12b in cuts to subsidies for private lenders. (WP & NYT)

Round 2

In a second bill, senators used the reauthorization of the Higher Ed Act to to keep an eye on tuition hikes and on sweet deals made between lenders and financial aid officers - as well as to simplify financial aid applications for low income families (NYT). The House fashioned its own Higher Ed bill, HR 4137, which it passed in February '08. A final compromise bill was passed in July 2008 (NYT).

Round 3

And then the credit crunch hit. Worried that the student loan market may dry up this fall, Congress passed a bill in spring of '08 to expand the size and scope of federally backed tuition loans. (NYT, NYT, & WP)

Updated July, 2008

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