Student Aid Advocates Push to Extend Perkins Loan Program

The federal Perkins loan program is set to expire on September 30, 2017, unless lawmakers act, Politico Morning Education reported. Congress allowed the program, which provides low interest loans to over 315,000 students based on financial need, to expire in 2015. Two months later, lawmakers approved legislation to temporarily revive it—the measure slated to expire this fall.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced a bipartisan bill in May to extend the program for another two years. H.R. 2482 currently has 77 co-sponsors in the House (59 Democrats and 18 Republicans). AACRAO, along with a broad coalition of student aid advocates and colleges and universities, is listed in support of the legislation.

"Perkins Loans are an important resource for low income families in my district who are pursuing their higher education dreams," Rep. Stefanik said in a news release. "We must ensure that low income students have access to a quality education, and the Perkins Loan program is a critical tool to help them succeed."

Passing an extension through Congress before the end of September will be a challenge, however, Politico reported. Some Republican lawmakers have previously opposed keeping Perkins loans, which account for less than 1 percent of all federal student aid, as they seek to streamline student loan programs. Additionally, President Trump’s budget request did not include funding to extend the program.


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Politico Morning Education