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Kline, Bishop Applaud Senate Action to Extend Perkins Loan Program

Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) issued the following statements today after the Senate passed legislation extending for two years the Federal Perkins Loan Program, which expired this fall:

“Earlier this year, I was proud to champion legislation in the House extending the Perkins Loan program and providing low-income students the certainty they need to pursue a higher education,” said Rep. Bishop. “I commend our Senate colleagues for joining this effort and reaffirming our commitment to helping those students who face severe financial hardship. I hope we send this bill to the president’s desk as soon as possible and provide students the support they need as they work toward their college degrees.”

“Our higher education system faces many challenges, including a confusing and outdated financial aid system,” said Chairman Kline. “As we work to address these and other challenges through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, this legislation will continue the support many low-income students currently rely on. I applaud the Senate for helping to move this effort forward and thank Congressman Bishop for his strong leadership on behalf of students and families.”

BACKGROUND: On September 28, 2015, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3594, the Higher Education Extension Act of 2015. Introduced by Reps. Mike Bishop and Mark Pocan (D-WI), members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the legislation extended the Perkins Loan program that was set to expire on September 30. As amended and passed by the Senate, H.R. 3594:
  • Allows current and new undergraduate borrowers to receive new Perkins Loans through September 2017 and additional disbursements of loans through the 2017-2018 award year. Current borrowers may receive Perkins Loans after exhausting their subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan eligibility, and new borrowers may receive Perkins Loans after exhausting all their Direct Loan eligibility.
  • Allows current graduate borrowers who remain in their course of study to continue receiving new Perkins Loans through September 2016 and additional disbursements of loans through the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Adds additional disclosures so borrowers are aware of the status of the Perkins Loan program and its terms and conditions compared to other federal loans.
  • Ensures the bill is fully paid for at no additional cost to taxpayers by reforms to the grandfathering provision in the law for current borrowers.

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