Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
***MEDIA ADVISORY*** Committee to Examine Ideas to Strengthen Student Loan Programs

On Wednesday, March 13 at 10:00 a.m., the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), will hold a hearing entitled “Keeping College Within Reach: Examining Opportunities to Strengthen Federal Student Loan Programs.” The hearing will take place in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The federal government provides billions of dollars annually in federal student loans and financial aid. In the 2011-2012 academic year, full-time undergraduates received an average of $13,218 in student aid. The federal government accounted for 73 percent ($173.8 billion) of all financial aid administered ($237 billion). However, federal student aid programs are often unnecessarily confusing for students. Each program has unique characteristics and eligibility is usually determined by a complicated formula that can be hard to decipher. Additionally, shortsighted policies of the past put politicians in charge of setting certain terms, such as interest rates, leaving students’ financial aid options subject to the whims of Washington.

Congress has a responsibility to examine ways to simplify and strengthen federal aid programs to help more students realize the dream of a college degree. Wednesday’s hearing will provide members an opportunity to discuss ways to improve federal student aid programs, including Stafford Loans, which will once again confront a scheduled increase in interest rates this summer. To learn more about this hearing, visit

# # #


Dr. Deborah J. Lucas
Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

Mr. Jason Delisle
Director of the Federal Education Budget Project
New America Foundation
Washington, D.C.

Mr. Justin Draeger
President and CEO
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Washington, D.C.

Dr. Charmaine Mercer
Vice President of Policy
Alliance for Excellent Education
Washington, D.C.