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House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education Meets to Discuss New Policy Options

March 09, 2007

DC—In an effort to find a solution to the ongoing college-cost crisis, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness met Thursday to discuss new policy options.

The first in a series of hearings, "The State of Higher Education: How Students Access and Finance a College Education" kicked off the Education and Labor Committee's plans to hear suggestions on how to make college more affordable, how to make the federal student loan system more efficient, and how to increase college enrollment and graduation rates.

During the hearing led by Chairman Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), higher education experts James Merisotis of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, David Breneman of the UVA Curry School of Education, Ross Wiener of the Education Trust, and Don Soifer of the Lexington Institute urged Congress to continue to increase funding for need-based aid to help extend opportunities for college admission to low-income students and minorities. They also made suggestions to reorganize the Higher Education Act, the main law that governs the nation's higher education system.

"Clearly, we need to expand access and success in higher education on a larger scale than ever before. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act gives us our opportunity to do that," said Chairman Hinojosa.

According to the Committee on Education and Labor, the experts also told members of the house that expanding college access was critical to creating a highly educated and skilled workforce for our country.

"There is a growing concern that, as a nation, we are losing our competitive edge. We know from experience that investing in higher education is one of our primary tools for sharpening that competitive edge," said Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX).

According to the most recent College Board report, over the last five years, tuition and fees at four-year public colleges underwent a 35% inflation-adjusted increase. With college costs skyrocketing, current federal aid cannot keep up with the demand, despite the fact that federal aid is reaching historic levels.

House of Representatives, Add 1-

"We've seen substantial increases in federal financial aid since 2000," said Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL), the subcommittee's ranking Republican member. "For example, Pell Grant funding is up 79%, from $7.6 billion in 2000 to $13.6 billion today."

"With tuition costs on the rise and where the current interest rates are on student loans, less prospective students are likely to enroll in college for fear of accruing huge amounts of student loan debt upon their graduation," said EdFed loan specialist Sherra Schear. "This could hurt our nation's economy. But EdFed is doing its part to help with this problem by consolidating student loan debt. Consolidation helps to save borrowers literally thousands of dollars over the life of their student loans."

As a leader in the student loan industry, EdFed is dedicated to helping students and graduates realize all of their educational goals and meet their loan and consolidation needs.

For more information, please contact Brooke Heath at 800-821-5659,

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Education is one of the most basic right of any human, but with the increase in prices and the costs involved in education this has made these rights turn into a privilege which very few can enjoy. Any normal person today in the whole of United States has to take an education loan at one point of time to pay for their education fees.

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