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Rep. Chu Introduces Bill to Restart Federal Loan Support for Grad Students

December 10, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act. The bill would 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:

“It’s estimated that between 2010 and 2020, 2.6 million new and replacement jobs are expected to require an advanced degree. These are in demand careers like mental health services, school administration, and health care professions that are becoming unattainable due to the high cost of borrowing. The Budget Control Act of 2011 – the same bill that brought us the Sequester – also cut a major means of support for students looking to take the next step towards entering these fields. By adding thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of a loan, the Budget Control Act added a severe disincentive to students seeking the higher degrees they need.

“This bill would fix that by treating graduate students like their undergraduate counterparts and once again making them eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. These loans do not accrue interest while the student is still in school, saving the student thousands of dollars over time. We’ve already started to roll back some of the more irresponsible aspects of the Sequester. This punishing restriction on graduate students should be next. We want the best and the brightest, not just those that can afford it, to have access to postgraduate education.  At a time when our country is facing a shortage of specialized workers in critical fields, we should be doing everything we can to encourage students to enter these fields, rather than creating additional barriers to higher education.”

The POST GRAD Act is endorsed by: The American Psychological Association, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of American Universities, the American Association of Medical Colleges, the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities, the American Council on Education, Asian American Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the UNCF, the National Association of School Financial Aid Administrators, the National Association of School Psychologists,  the California State University, the University of California, the American Federation of Teachers, and the National Education Association.