Why SAFRA is Important

As I type this, I am watching the Health Care debate in the House.  Today, the House will be voting on budget reconciliation.  To most, this is a healthcare vote.  For quite a while, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act was considered for budget reconciliation.  Instead of leaving it in the dust for healthcare reform, it has been attached for reconciliation and may (probably will) pass today.  Now, my opinion on the health care reform bill is a little iffy. I like parts and I dislike parts.  But I’m all for SAFRA and here is why:

SAFRA would increase the number of Pell grants and amount of Pell grants to students.  Especially with the current crisis in higher education, Pell grants just don’t cut it.  They need to be greater in size and in distribution.  SAFRA does this.  It also caps interest rates on Stafford loans, something that hasn’t yet become an issue but will in coming years.

In addition to this type of assistance to students, there is also good news for our budget.  By dropping subsidies for loan companies, SAFRA could save tens of billions of dollars.  This will be done by cutting out a very costly middleman in favor of direct loans.  In my opinion, there aren’t a lot of negatives for this piece of legislation.  It will help students in a time when higher education is being hit from all sides.  SAFRA is a step in the right direction.

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