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Bishop, Pocan Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Extend Perkins Loan Program, Other Higher Education Provisions

Reps. Mike Bishop (R-MI) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, today introduced the Higher Education Extension Act of 2015 (H.R. 3594). The legislation extends for one year the Perkins Loan Program that is set to expire on September 30, as well as other higher education provisions scheduled to sunset at the end of the month. The bipartisan proposal will deliver certainty to students and institutions as policymakers continue work on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

“The students who count on a Perkins loan to help pay for their college education shouldn’t be left high and dry when the program expires later this month,” Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) said. “I am proud to champion this bipartisan proposal, which will help meet the immediate need of students and give Congress the opportunity to advance commonsense reforms that better serve students for the future.”

“The Perkins Loans program has helped students struggling to find a way to pay for college in Wisconsin and all across the country. I’m pleased we could work with our colleagues across the aisle to extend this vital program for another year,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI). “I will continue to work tirelessly so the program is fully extended in the Higher Education Act to ensure students are able to access the federal financial aid they need to make college accessible.”

“The current financial aid system is too confusing, complicated, and can discourage students from pursuing a college degree,” Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said. “But this is just one of many challenges facing today’s higher education system. This bill will ensure we continue to support students and institutions while we continue our larger effort to strengthen higher education. Representatives Bishop and Pocan are to be commended for putting forward this bipartisan proposal.”

“As the oldest federal student loan program in the United States, the Federal Perkins Loan Program has assisted millions of students in obtaining a college degree,” said Education and the Workforce Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA). “At a critical moment, when many are questioning the affordability of a college education, we must do all we can to preserve every source of federal funding available to students and families in need. That’s why I am pleased that we are able to extend the program for an additional year, and I look forward to finding new ways to make college more affordable through the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.”

  • Extends through Fiscal Year 2016 the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity and the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance;
  • Extends through Fiscal Year 2016 the Perkins Loan Program, allowing participating colleges and universities to continue serving new borrowers;
  • Reforms the Perkins Loan Program to ensure the legislation is fully paid for at no additional cost to taxpayers; and
  • Allows students who receive a Perkins loan during the 2015-2016 academic year and remain in the same academic program to be eligible to receive those funds through March 31, 2018.

To read the bill, click here.

To read the bill summary, click here.

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