Congress allows Perkins student loan program to expire

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Congress allowed the country’s oldest Perkins student loan program expire. Perkins Loan Program was the oldest student loan program in the country and without it, a lot of small colleges and standalone law schools are going to have a hard time teaching some of America’s future leaders.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R.-Tenn) said that the program was “outdated and unnecessary.”

“Impact on enrollment will be most significant for small private liberal arts colleges,” wrote the credit rating agency Moody’s.

At some of these smaller colleges, like Earlham College, in Richmond, Indiana, as much as 41 percent of the student population depended on Perkins loans. It was mostly lower income students who participated in the loan program, so once again, Congress is moving to harm the poor at the expense of lobbyists and their corporate masters.

More than 1, 700 colleges across the country participated in the Perkins loan program.

“It’s at no cost to the federal government,” said Senator Charles Schumer of the closure of the program (D.-NY). “but it’s at high cost to the students.”

The Perkin’s Loan Program has been financially solvent since 2005.

A Perkin’s loan carried an interest rate of just 5 percent over a ten-year repayment period.

Student’s who qualified for the program typically received around $2, 210, with the potential of receiving up-to $5, 500.

According to the U.S. Department of Education for the 2013-2014 period 539,444 college students with $1.17 billion in aid from the Perkins program.

“Perkins loans can make a difference,” said New Paltz College President Donald Christian. “The loss of this program will be devastating.”

 

[Bloomberg] [Poughkeepsie Journal]