New Enrollment Numbers and Information about Student Aid
In April, we told you about the number of federal student loan borrowers who were successfully enrolled in Income-Based Repayment (IBR). IBRinfo has now learned that number has increased to more than 350,000 as of May 2011! This momentum is exciting, but IBR could help many more borrowers make their loan payments more affordable. Please take a moment to help spread the word and tell a friend about IBR.
In addition, the Department of Education has
indicated that it plans to review the regulations governing IBR
this fall with the goal of improving the program. We will keep you posted as more information
Bipartisan Debt Deal Provides $17 Billion for Pell Grants
More than nine million students depend on Pell Grants to attend and complete college, and the final bipartisan debt ceiling agreement provides $17 billion for the program. This additional funding recognizes the critical role that Pell Grants play in ensuring college access and a competitive national economy. However, Pell is not out of the woods yet. In the coming weeks, Congress may consider Pell Grant program eligibility changes to close the remaining $1.3 billion Pell Grant funding gap in fiscal year 2012.
The debt ceiling agreement also created a bipartisan Joint Committee charged with proposing by Thanksgiving a plan to reduce the deficit by up to an additional $1.5 trillion. This Joint Committee may well consider harmful cuts in student grants, loans and tax credits. We analyzed one such recent proposal, which would effectively shift $43 billion in debt from the federal government to students.
our statement on debt ceiling agreement, our
fact sheet on Pell Grants, and our statement
on a recent proposal to eliminate the in-school interest subsidy on
all federal student loans.
Critical Choices: How Colleges Can Help Students and Families Make Better Decisions about Private Loans
Our new report Critical Choices documents promising practices that a variety of financial aid offices are using to help prospective borrowers avoid unnecessarily risky and costly private student loans. It also identifies problematic practices that bypass key opportunities to inform students' and parents' borrowing decisions.