Rep. Maloney and Sallie Mae Hold “Paying for College” Workshop

Nov 3, 2008
Press Release

Queens, NY – Thursday evening, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and representatives from the Sallie Mae Fund held a “Paying for College” workshop for students and their families at the Cretan Association of New York in Long Island City.  At the workshop, experts from Sallie Mae gave students and parents information on applying to and paying for college, including accessing grants, scholarships, and other financial aid.

At the forum, Queens resident and Stuyvesant High School student Nicollette Barsamian won a $500 scholarship from Sallie Mae to help pay for her college education.

“College graduates will earn roughly $1 million more than high school graduates over the course of their lifetimes,” Maloney said.  “I’m proud to work with Sallie Mae to give my constituents vital information about planning and paying for college.  High tuition costs are the #1 reason students drop out of college or fail to go at all.  Educating students about their options and encouraging them to pursue higher education is good for our families, our community, and ultimately our economy.” 

In July 2007, Maloney and her House colleagues overwhelmingly approved the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007, which provided the single largest increase in financial aid for college students since the 1944 G.I. Bill.  The bill, which was signed into law by the president, increased college financial aid by about $18 billion, and will cut interest rates on federal student loans to 3.4% by July 2011, saving the average New York student 4,570 over the life of his or her loan.  The legislation also will increase the maximum Pell Grant award from $4050 to $5,200 by 2011.

Facts on Higher Education From Sallie Mae:

The likelihood that an American ninth grader will enroll in college four years later is less than 40 percent, with students from low-income and minority families even less likely to do so.  The Sallie Mae Fund's “Paying for College” workshop series works to reverse this trend by helping families plan and pay for higher education.

Research from The Sallie Mae Fund shows that a lack of financial aid knowledge among low-income and minority populations creates barriers to higher education. Nearly three out of four young adults indicated they would have gone to college if they had been aware of their financial aid options.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs for those with bachelor's degrees grew by 1.8 million during the past 10 years compared to a loss of nearly 700,000 jobs for those with only a high school diploma.

African Americans and Hispanics are among those with the lowest educational achievement levels. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that, if current trends continue, of every 100 African-American kindergarteners, 87 will graduate from high school, but only 18 will achieve a bachelor's degree by age 29. For every 100 Hispanic children entering kindergarten, 63 will graduate from high school and only 11 will obtain a bachelor's degree by the age of 29.