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Subject:

NASPA Public Policy Alert (fwd)

From:

Georgine Materniak <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 23 Jan 1998 09:11:50 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (291 lines)

FYI
I'm passing this info on that I received from a colleague.

Georgine Materniak
Director
University of Pittsburgh
Learning Skills Center
311 William Pitt Union
Pittsburgh, PA  15260
phone:  (412)648-7920
fax:    (412)648-7924
e-mail: [log in to unmask]

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans" John Lennon

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 11:19:09 -0500
From: Cheryl Lovell <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: NASPA Public Policy Alert

RELEASED January 22, 1998

!!!!!!!! NASPA PUBLIC POLICY ALERT !!!!!!!!

Attention NASPA members:

On Tuesday, January 14th an emergency meeting of higher education
governmental relations officers was held in Washington, DC to discuss
strategies to combat the recent news of President Clinton's proposal to
eliminate Perkins Loans.  Every association is encouraging its members
to contact the White House comment line at (202) 456-1414 and the Office
of Public Liaison at the White House at (202) 456-2930.  Therefore, we
ask our NASPA members to contact these offices IMMEDIATELY to express
your opposition to the proposed elimination of this important loan
program.  We also recommend you contact your Congressional
Representatives and your campus and local newspapers to inform them of
this devastating proposal.
It appears Clinton's recommendation to eliminate the Perkins Loan is a
reversal of policy previously backed by the White House administration
and the US Department of Education.

We suggest you refer to the attached copy of the Federal Perkins Loan
Program Fact Sheet and a draft letter which would be appropriate for
sending to your elected officials.  Please feel free to incorporate this
information into the letters and the calls you make.  It is imperative
we express our concern to these officials and that they understand the
proposed elimination of the Perkins Loan Program will have a significant
impact to our students and campus communities.

Should you need additional information or desire to discuss this
important issue, please feel free to contact Gwen Dungy at
[log in to unmask] or contact Cheryl Lovell at [log in to unmask]  The NASPA
Public Policy Advisory
Committee is committed to addressing issues of concern to our members
and to the millions of students you represent.  However, we need each of
you to also play an active role in this process.  Your telephone calls
and letters will make a tremendous difference.  Please follow up TODAY.
This proposal can be reversed if the administration hears from concerned
citizens.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this important public policy
alert.

Cheryl D. Lovell, Chair
NASPA Public Policy Advisory Committee
Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator of
 Master's Program in Higher Education and Adult Studies
University of Denver

Attachments:
Federal Perkins Loan Program Fact Sheet
Sample Letter to Member of Congress
"What you can do" strategies list
**********

Cheryl D. Lovell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education and
 Coordinator of Master's Program in
 Higher Education and Adult Studies
College of Education
University of Denver
2450 S. Vine St., Room 229
Denver, CO 80208
303.871.2479 (voice)
303.871.4456 (fax)
[log in to unmask]


FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN PROGRAM FACT SHEET

The Federal Perkins Loan Program, formerly the National Defense Student
Loan Program was authorized by the National Education Act of 1958 and is
the oldest federally supported student aid program.  The program offers
-low interest loans to students of higher education institutions through
campus revolving funds.  New funds are added to the revolving fund by a
federal and institutional matching contribution.

The program fosters access to postsecondary education for low income
borrowers by providing low interest loans with favorable terms during a
period of declining grant availability.

Perkins loan borrowers are predominantly from lower income families.
Approximately 83 percent of the undergraduate dependent borrowers are
from families with incomes of $30,000 or below.  Approximately 25%
percent of these borrowers are from families with incomes of $18,000 or
below.

Perkins loans have a 5 percent interest rate which begins to accrue
after a 9 month grace period when the borrower ceases to be a student.
The loans carry a number of cancellation provisions for public service
through VISTA, the Peace Corps and teacher shortage areas.

>From program inception over $15 billion in loans were made to 10 million
borrowers from the $6 billion federal dollars appropriated for the
program.  In 1991-92, according to analysts at the Department of
Education, 654,244 students borrowed  $867,800,439 in loans, with an
average amount of $1326.00 awarded per student.  The cohort default rate
of 11 percent for the program is low when compared to other federal loan
programs and is extremely impressive when you consider the borrower
population.  The success of the program should be attributed to the
central role of the education institution which originates the loan,
counsels the borrower through repayment. selects contractors for
servicing and collection; ultimately tailoring the program to best fit
the borrower's and institution's needs.  Perkins is a risk-sharing
program with an institutional match to new federal contributions of 15
percent in the 1993-94 award year, increasing to 25 percent in
subsequent years.

for additional information on the Federal Perkins Loan Program contact.-

Ellin Nolan     Judith Nemerovski Flink
COHEAO Consultant       President, COHEAO
202-289-3910    312-996-2515

Prepared by the Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations
(COHEAO)

WHY IS THE FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN PROGRAM NECESSARY?

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO STUDENTS IF THEY CAN NO LONGER APPLY FOR FEDERAL
PERKINS LOANS?

Without access to a Federal Perkins Loan, many prospective students will
not be able to pursue a post-secondary education, particularly at a time
of escalating college costs.  They will be forced to walk away from the
opportunity to improve their lives through the pursuit of their
academic, vocational and professional goals.  Further, many currently
enrolled students receiving Federal Perkins Loans would not be able to
return to finish school, consequently dropping graduation rates.

About 83 percent of undergraduate Federal Perkins Loan borrowers are
from families with incomes at or below $30,000.  Twenty-five percent of
these borrowers are from families with incomes of $18,000 or less.
Since its establishment in 1958, the Federal Perkins Loan Program has
made a postsecondary education possible for over 10 million of these
low-income borrowers.  Since federal legislation places limits on
student borrowing, it would be virtually impossible for them to pay for
college without a Federal Perkins Loan.  The alternative, in many
instances, is a PLUS (parent loan) or a private loan.  These
alternatives are far more costly and, for certain students, not even an
option because of poor credit history, lack of credit-worthy co-signers,
or

COULDN'T THE FEDERAL PERKINS LOAN PROGRAM SURVIVE WITHOUT THE FEDERAL
CAPITAL CONTRIBUTION (FCC)?


The Federal Perkins Loan Program is notable fbr its structure-students
who benefit from access to Perkins capital help keep the doors of
post-secondary education open for those who follow with every loan
repayment check they send to their institution.  However, the FCC is
critical to insuring the longevity of the Federal Perkins Loan Program
for several reasons: it covers the default costs which even the best run
programs face; it meets the needs of increased numbers of eligible
students; and it covers costs that allows campuses to best meet
students' needs.  The formula that determines campus-specific
appropriations is need-based, with consideration given to prior-year
collections.  The true impact of the elimination of the FCC on the
Federal Perkins Loan Program is not just the federal government's
contribution, but also the potential loss of the one-third match
required by school participants.  This match stretches federal dollars
and contributes to the fiscal health of the program.

WHAT ARE ARE ADVANTAGES OF FEDERAL PERKINS LOANS OVER OTHER LOANS?

The Federal Perkins Loan Program was established by Congress to promote
access to post-secondary education for low income borrowers by providing
low interest loans with favorable terms (current rate is 5%).  Also,
deferments and forbearance can be granted to borrowers with documented
hardship.  The loans carry a number of cancellation previsions such as
for public service through VISTA, the Peace Corps and for teaching in
teacher shortage areas.  The Federal Direct Student Loan Program and the
Federal Family Education Loan Program do not offer students any of these
benefits.  The fact that the Federal Perkins Loan Program is campus
-based is also an advantage for students.  The local administration of
funds allows schools to tailor the program to best fit borrowers needs
and to insure efficient operation.


*** SAMPLE LETTER ***

Dear Member of Congress:

The Federal Perkins Loan Program, formerly the National Defense Student
Loan Program, was first authorized by the Congress in 1958 and is the
oldest federally supported student aid program.  Over 2,700
participating higher education institutions offer low interest Perkins
loans to eligible students.  These funds are supplemented each year by
repaid loans and federal funds that are matched by institutional dollars
(3 to 1).  It is this critical capital contribution that we are asking
you to preserve.

Collectively, we represent thousands of students who attend higher
education institutions.  As participants in the Federal Perkins Loan
Program, we know firsthand the importance of Perkins loans to low-income
students.  The $158 million appropriated by the Congress in Fiscal Years
1994, 1995 and 1997 for the Perkins program leveraged $900 million each
year in loan capital for student borrowers.  In addition, in FY 1998,
Congress increased allocations for the Federal Perkins Loan Program's
loan cancellation fired, an indication of increased support for loan
forgiveness for students who serve their communities.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program fosters access to postsecondary
education for low-income borrowers by providing low interest loans (five
percent annually) with favorable terms during a period of declining
grant availability.  Approximately 83 percent of undergraduate Federal
Perkins borrowers are from families with incomes of $30,000 or below.
Approximately 25 percent of these borrowers are from families with
incomes of $18,000 or below.

Of particular importance are the loan cancellation provisions contained
in the Federal Perkins Loan Program, that apply to nurses, teachers and
other low-income service employees, who choose to work in disadvantaged
areas.  The benefits to these areas would be lost with the elimination
of the Perkins program.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program has made over $13 billion in education
loans to eligible borrowers.  This is a program that has stood the test
of time.  It enjoys the support of all participating institutions and
its I I percent national cohort default rate indicates satisfaction
among its primary beneficiaries -- student borrowers.

At a time when access to education is increasingly important and costs
continue to escalate, we urge you to sustain critical federal support
for, campus-based student loans and the Federal Perkins Loan Program.

Thank you for your interest and attention to our request.

Sincerely,


***  WHAT YOU CAN DO ***

Call people you know in the administration (Department of Education,
Office of Management and Budget, White House)

Call a member of Congress, congressional staffer or committee staffer
you know.

Prepare a grassroots message for your members to use when they call the
administration.

Organize a letter-writing campaign to the administration.

Prepare op-eds for placement in local papers



The Message

Perkins loans have a unique role in student aid.  The additional
resources they provide cannot be subsumed under other programs.

The additional $3,000 available through Perkins Loans gives campus
financial aid administrators the flexibility they need to meet the
special needs of low-income students, by providing less expensive loans
or supplementing federal loans for students whose borrowing needs are
greater than the limits set by the Stafford Loan Program.

Support all student aid programs, including Perkins Loans.
From: NASPA Office <[log in to unmask]>


***************************************************************************
This broadcast message was generated by the NASPA Office using listserve
software. If you have any questions or comments, please
DO NOT select reply in your email software, as this may result in your
message being posted back to ALL NASPA members. Questions or comments
should be directed to [log in to unmask]
***************************************************************************

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