House Approves Biggest College Aid Increase Since WWII...

Jul 13, 2007
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) and her House colleagues overwhelmingly approved the largest increase in financial aid for college students since the 1944 G.I. Bill. 

Over the next five years, the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 (H.R. 2669) would:

 * Increase college financial aid by about $18 billion;

* Cut interest rates on federal student loans from 6.8% to 3.4%, saving the average New York college student $4,570 in interest payments;

* Increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,200, from the current $4,050 –providing an additional $1.1 billion in Pell Grants to more than 420,000 New Yorkers;

 * Cap student loan repayments at 15% of a borrower’s yearly discretionary income; and

* Pay for all of the above by reducing excessive federal subsidies for the college loan industry by $19 billion.

“With this bill, Congress is making good on two promises: helping more young people achieve their dreams and paying for it without increasing the deficit,” said Congresswoman Maloney.  “High costs are the #1 reason students drop out of college or fail to go at all.  Giving our students a break is good for families and it’s good for our economy, too.”

In July 2006, the GOP-controlled Congress raised interest rates on federal student loans to their highest point in 16 years, from 5.3% to 6.8% --costing the average college graduate $2,500 more in interest payments. The bill approved today not only reverses this increase, it cuts student loan rates even further, to 3.4% by 2011.

Last September, Rep. Maloney, Rep. Anthony Weiner and five of their House colleagues released a report showing that the average annual cost of attending SUNY and CUNY schools increased by more than 30% between 2001 and 2006, from $3,766 to $4,895 per year.