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House Passes Bill to Extend Perkins Loan Program

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) issued the following statements today after the House passed bipartisan legislation extending the Federal Perkins Loan Program, which expired earlier this year:  

“I applaud the House and Senate for coming together to support our students. Extending the Perkins Loan program ensures those in severe financial need will continue to have the certainty to help achieve their higher education goals,” said Rep. Bishop. “Congress must continue to find new, innovative ways to make college more affordable and simplify our nation’s financial aid system. While we continue this work, I encourage the president to sign this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to revive the Perkins Loan program and thank Chairman Kline for his support of this effort.”

“We have taken an important step to provide low-income students the necessary support to pursue their college degrees,” said Chairman Kline. “By extending the Perkins Loan program, students will have more certainty as they work to make their college dreams a reality. I want to thank Rep. Bishop for his leadership, and I urge the president to sign the legislation as soon as possible.”

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 (R-MI) 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 school 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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