College Kids Get Relief, Congress Passes Cost Reduction Act

Kristina Rizga: Here's a closer look at some key provisions of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. George Miller (D-CA).
This post, written by Kristina Rizga, originally appeared on WireTap Magazine

Yesterday, Pres. Bush signed H.R. 2669, the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the largest increase in student aid since the GI Bill of 1944. Here's a closer look at some key provisions of the bill, sponsored by Rep. George Miller, (D-California), and Sen. Edward Kennedy, (D-Mass.):

Increasing Pell Grants:

The biggest aid increase would raise the maximum annual Pell grant, the nation's main aid program for low-income students, from $4,300 to $5,400 a year by 2012.

Making It Easier to Repay Loans:
* Ensuring you don't retire in student debt. The program cancels most remaining balances (if there any left) after 25 years. This applies to anyone, who took out federal loans as an undergraduate or graduate student, whether they took them out years ago or recently. (The time period for the 10-year public service cancellation begins October 1, 2007. Project on Student Debt has more details on that.)
*Slashing interest rates on Stafford subsidized loans. The bill would reduce the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans by half over four years. Subsidized loans go to students who demonstrate financial need. The rate cut would be phased in starting July 1. It would go from 6.8 percent today to 3.4 percent by 2011.
Kristina Rizga is an editor and publisher of a news and culture magazine for socially conscious young people. She's been sending a third of her paycheck to pay for her college debt and at this rate, she has 20 more years to go.
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