SAFRA Passes!

March 21st 2010 was a historic night, a night that will go down as one of the most important nights for current and future college and university students. No I’m not talking about health care reform, I’m not touching that with a 10 foot poll, but it does have to do with the Reconciliation Act (H. R. 4872). Title II, Subtitle A of H. R. 4872,  The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 was passed. Under the  provisions of SAFRA include (partially):

  • Ending federal subsidies to banks that offer student loans. But instead, the legislation would require colleges to switch to the federal government’s Direct Loan program (which would save $61 billion)
  • $36 billion to increase Pell Grants for needy students over a 10-year period. The maximum grant would jump from $5,550 in 2010 to $5,975 by 2017. The Pell funding figure includes $13.5 billion to address a growing Pell Grant shortfall created by heavier-than-expected use of the program during the recession
  • Community colleges would get $2 billion in competitive grants to develop or improve educational and career training programs. This provision is one of the few provisions remaining from President Obama’s $12 billion American Graduation Initiative earmarked for two-year public colleges
  • Extending funding for programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions through 2019, including programs that help low-income students attain degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics by the following annual amounts:
    • $100 million to Hispanic Serving Institutions,
    • $85 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
    • $15 million to Predominantly Black Institutions,
    • $30 million to Tribal Colleges and Universities,
    • $15 million to Alaska, Hawaiian Native Institutions,
    • $5 million to Asian American and Pacific Islander Institutions,
    • $5 million to Native American non-tribal serving institutions

This is a big win for students and for higher education! This is going to help many of our under privileged students to help them to have the right for affordable higher education.

sources: Text of H. R 4872 & Dems Unveil Scaled-back SAFRA Provisions, Attach It to Health Care Reform Legislation

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