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Hare Votes to Send College Cost Reduction and Access Act to President's Desk

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Hare Votes to Send College Cost Reduction and Access Act to President's Desk

Washington, Sep 7 -

Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL), a Member of the House Education and Labor Committee, today voted for legislation that would make the single largest investment in college financial aid since the 1944 GI Bill, helping millions of students and families pay for college—and doing so at no new cost to U.S. taxpayers. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which combines key elements from House and Senate bills that were passed in July, now goes to the President's desk for his signature.

"Working families in Illinois and around the nation continue to struggle with the rising costs of college," Hare said. "This historic investment in higher education will begin to put a college degree back in reach for millions of average Americans."

The College Cost Reduction Act and Access Act would make need-based student loans more easily accessible and provide for additional mandatory funding for the Pell Grant scholarship by at least $1090 over the next five years, benefiting nearly 230,000 students in Illinois, including over 22,000 newly eligible beneficiaries. Illinois students and their families will receive more than $1.2 billion over five years in the form of student loans and Pell Grants as a result of this legislation.

The bill includes a provision to cut the interest rate on subsidized student loans in half over the next five years—-from 6.8% to 3.4%, benefiting 128,765 student borrowers in Illinois. Once fully phased in, it would save the average four-year college student (who begins school in 2011) $4510 over the life of his or her loan.

The legislation pays for itself by reducing excessive federal subsidies paid to lenders in the college loan industry by $20 billion.

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act also includes a number of other provisions that would ease the financial burden imposed on students and families by the cost of college, including:

* Tuition assistance for excellent undergraduate students who agree to teach in the nation's public schools
* Loan forgiveness after 10 years of public service and loan repayment for college graduates who go into vital public service jobs
* Landmark investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions and other minority serving institutions
* Strategies to help colleges contain costs and make online information on college costs for students and parents more user friendly for students and parents

"Making college more affordable and accessible for working families is good for our economy, national security, and competitiveness in the world," Hare concluded. "I was proud to play a role in crafting this landmark legislation from the very beginning."

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