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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) joined 53 of his Senate colleagues today in urging Senate leadership to take up and pass legislation to reauthorize the Perkins Loan Program. This important financial aid option for many low-income students expired on Sept. 30, 2015, despite receiving a unanimous one-year, no-cost extension from the House of Representatives on Sept. 28, 2015.  More than 7,000 Kansas students received Perkins Loans in 2013-14.

The senators wrote, “Many senators have proposals aimed at making our various federal student aid programs work better for students, parents, and institutions. We look forward to discussing and debating ways to improve these important federal supports for higher education during this congress. In the meantime, we should immediately take up and pass the House-passed extension to provide certainty to students and ensure that this important source of student financial assistance is not interrupted.   

The senators continued, “Immediately taking up the House-passed extension bill is a simple solution that can provide clarity in the near term to students and the colleges and universities that serve them without any cost to the federal government. The Congressional Budget Office concluded that this one-year extension would incur no new costs to the federal government because it includes limitations on the length of student participation in the program. The House has already acted unanimously…We urge you to take up and pass the Higher Education Extension Act without delay.”

The Perkins Loan Program, the nation’s oldest federal student loan program, has existed with broad bipartisan support since 1958 and has provided more than $28 billion in loans through almost 26 million awards to students in all 50 states. In the last academic year alone, the program lent $1.1 billion to more than half a million students with financial need across more than 1,500 institutions of higher education.  

The full text of the senators’ letter is available here.


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