- The Federal Perkins Loan Program died Wednesday when Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) prevented a one-year extension bill from making it out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education reports the program was the federal government’s oldest student loan program, providing $36 billion in aid to 30 million low-income students since its creation in 1958.
- The House of Representatives approved a one-year extension for the program on Monday as an attempt to keep the program going until Congress can reauthorize the Higher Education Act, but the Senate could not achieve the same.
Colleges and universities that participated in Perkins may find it harder to recruit low-income students if they do not make up the aid money. Perkins critics, however, argue there are plenty of other financing options schools can offer.
The bill that was meant to extend the Perkins Loan Program also would have saved the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. It, too, is no more. The Chronicle reports the committee’s major accomplishments include shaping federal student aid policy, issuing reports relating to the creation and simplification of the FAFSA, and creating formulas for analyzing student financial need.