Phi Beta Cons


And, just like that, the Federal Perkins Loan Program is gone, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. An eleventh hour House bill would have extended the program, which has doled out roughly $36 billion to 30 million students from lower- and middle-income families since 1958, for one more year. But U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, who heads the Senate’s education committee, blocked the bill from proceeding. Alexander’s decision is part of a broader effort to “streamline” the federal financial aid system and consolidate existing loan programs, some of which he says are duplicative. But duplication was just one of Perkins’s problems. According to the Chronicle article above, the program was intended to help students with “exceptional financial need,” but over the years it expanded beyond its scope and began serving students from middle- and even upper-middle-class households.

Jesse SaffronJesse Saffron is a writer and editor for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a North Carolina-based think tank dedicated to improving higher education in the Tar ...


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