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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today called for immediate action to save the Perkins Loan Program before it expires this Saturday, September 30th. Senator Baldwin has introduced bipartisan legislation that would extend this popular and effective campus-based financial aid program.
“There are less than five days left until the Perkins Loan Program expires, leaving hundreds of thousands of students in the lurch across America. We have commonsense bipartisan legislation to extend this critical student loan program and it deserves immediate action,” said Senator Baldwin. “For generations, this program has acted as a lifeline for many students, helping them build a path to the middle class, not debt. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join me in this bipartisan effort and act now before it’s too late.”
Unless Congress acts, approximately 1,500 colleges and universities across the country will not be able to make these low-interest loans, leaving approximately 500,000 students without access to an important source of financial aid. In Wisconsin, the program provides more than 23,000 low-income students with more than $57 million in aid.
The bipartisan effort to extend the federal Perkins Loan Program has received support from organizations and universities in Wisconsin and across the country:
“At a time when more college graduates are so clearly needed, the Perkins Loan program provides critical support to students with economic need, said Ray Cross, President, University of Wisconsin System. “It offers flexible repayment and generous forgiveness options that are public-service oriented. In Wisconsin, the impact is significant: in 2015-16, the Perkins Loan program provided $25.5 million in loans to 13,672 UW System students. We appreciate Sen. Baldwin’s action and support on this critical issue for our students and campuses. An extension will provide students and their families with greater clarity and certainty until an HEA reauthorization occurs.”
“Wisconsin recognizes the value and importance of the Federal Perkins Loan program which supports 27,513 students throughout our state, 3,599 of whom are students at UW-Madison,” said Derek Kindle, the Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Senator Tammy Baldwin’s leadership, along with her Republican and Democratic colleagues from Wisconsin’s delegation, demonstrates their dedication to champion the cause for students in Wisconsin and across the nation. We are deeply concerned about what the loss of this critical need-based aid program will mean for our students and troubled that no replacement program or funding exists.”
“I would like to thank Sen. Baldwin and others in the Wisconsin Congressional delegation for their leadership on this important issue,” said Dr. Rolf Wegenke, President of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU). “Perkins Loans offer a critical campus-based aid program providing financial aid administrators an important tool to encourage completion and retention. To let the loan expire would have a negative impact on low-income students. WAICU-member colleges and universities match these funds – a sterling example of having skin in the game.”
The bipartisan effort to extend the federal Perkins Loan Program has also received support from the Association of American Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, American Council on Education, American Veterinary Medical Association, American College of Nurse-Midwives, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Association of Research Libraries, Board of Directors for the Indiana Association of College and University Business Officers , Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations, Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, Council for Opportunity in Education, Kentucky Association of Student Receivable Officers, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) National Association for College Admission Counseling, National Education Association (NEA), NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, National Association Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), Nebraska Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, New Jersey Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA), Oklahoma State University, Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, University of California System, University of Maryland System, United Negro College Fund, Utah Association of Student Loan Administrators, and Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA).
An online version of this release is available here.