Stabenow, Peters Applaud Extension of Perkins Student Loan Program
Program Helps Students with Financial Need Pay for CollegeWednesday, December 16, 2015
U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today applauded Senate passage of the Federal Perkins Loan Extension Act of 2015, a bipartisan, two-year extension of the Perkins Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans to help students with exceptional financial need pay for their education. Peters and Stabenow previously sent a letter in October urging Senate leadership to pass an extension of the Perkins Loan Program after it expired on October 1st. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a one-year extension in September.
“Every child in America, no matter what their financial situation, should know that if they work hard the opportunity to attend college will be available after high school,” said Senator Stabenow. “The passage of today’s bill means that thousands of students in Michigan will continue to have the resources and support they need to have a fair shot to get ahead in life.”
“Thousands of students in Michigan rely on Perkins Loans to help finance their education, and this extension will ensure they can stay on track to pursue their degrees,” said Senator Peters. “Higher education can be a pathway to the middle class and strong future for students in Michigan and across the country, and I’m proud to support this essential program that helps our colleges and universities give the neediest students the assistance they need to get ahead.”
The Federal Perkins Loan Extension Act of 2015 will extend the Perkins Loan Program for two years through September 30, 2017, allowing current and new undergraduate borrowers to use Perkins Loans to pay for the 2017-2018 academic year. The lapse in the program put current students, including up to 150,000 current freshman, at risk of losing access to much-needed financial aid for the current and next academic years.
Since 1958, the Perkins Loan Program has provided more than $28 billion low-interest loans through nearly 26 million awards to students with financial need across the country. The program disburses financial aid to students through campus-based revolving funds that use federal dollars to leverage investments from colleges and universities to sustain the loan fund. In Michigan during the 2013-2014 school year, more than 26,000 students received nearly $41 million in Perkins Loans.
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