New Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act will Make College More Affordable

Whether you’re in California, NYC or Miami, college advisors at International College Counselors are pleased to report that the House Education and Labor Committee passed the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA).

This legislation, passed last Tuesday, will make college dramatically more affordable by investing billions of dollars in additional student aid – and at no new cost to taxpayers.

The SAFRA will generate almost $100 billion in savings over the next ten years. These savings would be directly invested in students and families by

• Boosting Pell Grant scholarships by investing $40 billion to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $6,900 by 2019. Starting in 2010, the scholarship will be linked to match rising costs-of-living by indexing it to the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent.

• Keeping interest rates low on need-based – or subsidized – federal student loans by making the interest rates on these loans variable beginning in 2012.

• Creating a more reliable and effective financial aid system for families.

• Investing $3 billion to bolster college access and completion support programs for student.

• Strengthening the Perkins Loan program, a campus-based program that provides low-cost federal loans to students.

• Making it easier for families to apply for financial aid by simplifying the FAFSA form.

• Investing $2.55 billion in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions to provide students with the support they need to stay in school and graduate.

• Providing loan forgiveness for members of the military who are called up to duty in the middle of the academic year.

• Enacting President Obama’s key education priorities.

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221) was passed by the committee with a vote of 30-17.

In addition to saving $87 billion over ten years that would be reinvested in college aid, this legislation will also direct $10 billion in savings back to the U.S. Treasury to help pay down the deficit.

The full House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill next week but will most likely vote on it after the August recess.

The advisors at International College Counselors encourage you to contact your congressional representative and tell him or her to support H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA)

If you have any other college admissions questions for one of our NYC or Miami college counselors, we’d be happy to answer them. I work with international students (9 countries and counting!) as well as those in the U.S. Please write me here or at my personal email which can be found on my International College Counselors college counseling website.

Mandee Heller Adler, Founder and Principal of International College Counselors

By the way, my college advising company is opening a new branch of International College Counselors in NYC so now you can visit our college advisor NYC as well.