Higher education institutions, organizations endorse Warren’s student loan bill

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Several institutions and organizations of higher education have endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act, which seeks to prevent student loans from doubling on July 1.

The legislation was introduced by Warren, and Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

Both legislators met with students, college administrators, higher education policymakers and professors to discuss providing students with the same access to cheap credit as provided to big banks.

“Big banks get a great deal when they borrow money from the Fed,” Warren said earlier this month. “In effect, the American taxpayer is investing in those banks.  We should make the same kind of investment in our young people who are trying to get an education.  Lend them the money and make them to pay it back, but give our kids a break on the interest they pay.  Let’s Bank on Students… Unlike the big banks, students don’t have armies of lobbyists and lawyers.  They have only their voices. And they call on us to do what is right.”

Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and John D. Rockefeller, IV (D-W. Va.) have endorsed the legislation as co-sponsors.

Student loan interest rates are set to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, though banks can continue to borrow from the Federal Reserve’s discount window at 0.75 percent. The legislation would prevent rates from doubling while allowing Congress time to develop a long-term solution for student loan interest rates.

Warren has also co-sponsored the Student Loan Affordability Act, which would extend existing interest rates on Stafford loans for two years.

Massachusetts higher education institutions that have endorsed the bill include: Babson College, Bentley University, Brandeis University, Boston College, Dean College, Emerson College, Emmanuel College, Hampshire College, Lasell College, Marian Court College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New England Conservatory, Nichols College, Northeastern University, Simmons College, Wheaton College, Wheelock College, Williams College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Organizations that have endorsed the legislation include: the American Federation of Teachers, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, Campaign for America’s Future, Credo, Democracy for America, Move On, National Organization for Women, National Youth Association, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Rebuild the Dream, Student Debt Crisis, U.S. Student Association and Young Invincibles.

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