NASFAA president defends Perkins Loans amid calls for accountability
- With Higher Education Act reauthorization discussions focusing on “skin in the game” policies, NASFAA President and CEO Justin Draeger argues for an extension of the Perkins Loan Program.
- The program requires contributions from the government and institutions to fund targeted loans for low-income students, and, in an editorial for The Hill, Draeger argues that colleges have remained committed to the program even while Congress has failed to meet its own funding responsibilities.
- If Congress doesn’t vote to extend the program before its Oct. 1 expiration date, incoming low-income students are expected to face a gap of $2,000, on average, in their financial aid packages, according to Draeger.
Increasing college accountability for positive student outcomes is a major goal of politicians leading the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The education committee in the Senate is working on legislation that would require colleges and universities to assume some level of liability for their students’ loan repayment rates. This might include forcing institutions to pay into an insurance fund of sorts with contributions mandated by a new formula, gauging risk. Under Obama, the U.S. Department of Education has gone after for-profit schools, adding legislation to increase their levels of accountability. In the Republican-led Congress, that focus has been broadened to include all schools.
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