NAICU Washington Update

Bipartisan Efforts on Capitol Hill to Save Perkins Loans

August 06, 2015

There are two bipartisan efforts underway in Congress to help save the Perkins Loan program, which is set to expire in September.

Bolstered by the bipartisan support of 95 Members of Congress, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) sent a letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce calling on the committee to reauthorize the Perkins Loan Program. The letter, which is supported by NAICU, outlines the history and benefits of the Perkins Loans, and asks the committee to secure the program’s future through legislative action.

Also in the House, Reps. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) have filed a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives expressing their support for the continuation of the Perkins Loan program. The resolution currently features 46 bipartisan cosponsors. In an effort to garner support for the resolution, Reps. Messer and Pocan have asked affected stakeholders to submit letters of support for their effort. Letters can be sent to NAICU or directly to Rep. Messer’s office or Rep. Pocan’s office.

Absent Congressional action, schools may not make Federal Perkins Loans to new borrowers after September 30, 2015. The Department of Education has issued guidance to provide some direction on how institutions should expect to begin to wind down their Perkins Loan portfolios, but many questions still remain.

Although NAICU continues to advocate for the reauthorization of the Perkins Loan program, institutions should continue to monitor guidance issued by the Department of Education on their responsibilities should the program terminate on September 30, 2015. It is expected that the future of Perkins will be hotly debated as Congress moves closer to reauthorizing the full Higher Education Act later this fall.

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