Student loans bill to be voted on in the Senate
 
Author: Ryan Saraie, Senior Legislative Analyst
Updated: October 6th, 2015 
 
 
          The Higher Education Extension Act of 2015 (H.R. 3594), sponsored by Representative Mike Bishop (R-MI), is on its way to potentially pass in the Senate after a successful run in the House. The bill allows for the Perkins Loan Program to be extended by one year, as it already expired on September 30, 2015. The federal program essentially provides aid in the form of low-interest loans to college students; approximately 1,500 IHEs (institutes of higher education) disbursed $1.2 billion in new Perkins Loans to around 539,000 students in the 2013-2014 academic year. If the bill fails, those who still have Perkins Loans will still be able to use them under the same guidelines, but students in need will be out of luck.
 
          Federal financing for college education has been a hot-button topic in recent years, with debate between Democrats and Republicans proving to be divisive. Indeed, last March the Senate voted to block a bill introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that would have lowered interest rates on federal loans entirely. With 9 Republican and 8 Democrat Representatives currently co-sponsoring the legislation, it seems fairly clear that bipartisan support for this bill exists. There is a decent chance for this bill to either pass or fail in the Senate, so it’s up to you to contact your state senators to let them know how you feel about extending these loans.
Click here for the full details of this bill
(H.R. 3594: Higher Education Extension Act of 2015)