The University Record, September 11, 1995

Financial aid issues loom large

With action yet to be completed on the major appropriation bills and the budget reconciliation legislation in Congress, student financial aid issues loom large in the budget process, according to Tom Butts, associate vice president for university relations.

“While programs such as Pell Grants and Work Study are expected to remain largely intact, the student loan programs are facing major changes,” Butts says. “The Federal Direct Loan Program, which the U-M successfully implemented last year, is under major attack by the guaranteed student loan industry.”

The U-M was among the first 104 institutions to initiate the program in 1994-95. For 1995–96 more than 1,300 institutions representing more than one-third of the total student loan volume are participating in the program.

Along with the major fight taking place over the future of the student loan program, more than $10 billion must be saved from student loans through the budget reconciliation process. Butts says a variety of options are under discussion, including the elimination of in-school interest payments on graduate student loans, decreases in profits in the Federal Family Education Loan Program and elimination of direct lending.

The U-M is actively participating in the debate over these and other issues. For more information about federal issues, call the University’s Washington, D.C., office at (202) 554-0578 or e-mail Tom Butts at tombutts@umich.edu or Bob Samors, government relations research officer, at rsamors@umich.edu.