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Rep. Chu Reintroduces POST GRAD Act to Restore Federal Loan Support for Graduate Students

July 27, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) has reintroduced the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act. The bill will once again make graduate students eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. That eligibility was ended by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“Many of the most rewarding and critical jobs in the U.S. require advanced degrees. While we want our best and brightest students to succeed in fields such as healthcare, mental health, and school administration, the high cost of graduate school means that these fields are often just for those who can afford the high tuition or expensive loans. This is unacceptable. Smart and capable students from disadvantaged backgrounds deserve a shot to earn advanced degrees in jobs that we need filled without taking on a lifetime of debt.

“This bill will ensure all graduate students, regardless of their or their family’s financial situation, can access Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. These loans do not accrue interest while the student is in school, saving the student thousands of dollars over time. Federal Direct Subsidized Loans are already being used by countless undergraduates, so it’s common sense that we extend this aid to our graduate students. At a time when our country faces dire shortages of highly skilled workers, we should be doing everything we can to reduce barriers to higher education.” 

“By reinstating subsidized federal student loans for graduate students, the POST GRAD Act would relieve a portion of the financial burden associated with financing a graduate degree, including in psychology.” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of the American Psychological Association. “The cost of graduate education often serves as a barrier for qualified individuals pursuing advanced degrees, including in the behavioral health care field, where shortages of skilled, culturally competent providers persist. The loss of the in-school interest subsidy has increased these costs, which are disproportionately borne by traditionally underrepresented students. APA applauds Representative Chu for introducing this critical legislation, which would make graduate study more affordable and help ensure a more diverse workforce to meet growing needs.”

The POST GRAD Act is cosponsored by: Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), John Garamendi (D-CA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large), Scott Peters (D-CA), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Juan Vargas (D-CA).

The POST GRAD Act is endorsed by: American Psychological Association, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Association of Colleges of Podiatric Medicine, American Dental Education Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, American Physical Therapy Association, Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, Association of American Medical Colleges, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions, Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, Association of University Programs in Health Administration, Council on Social Work Education, Physician Assistant Education Association, AccessLex Institute, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, National Association of School Psychologists, University of California, California State University, and Rutgers University.