Momentum is Building in Congress: Now is the Time to Urge Your Representative to Cosponsor the Perkins Loan Extension Act!

Prepared by:  Hannah Allen (hallen@wpllc.net)

The Perkins Loan Program Extension Act currently has 63 congressional cosponsors.  The authors of the bi-partisan legislation, Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Mark Pocan (D-WI), and its lead co-sponsors just circulated a new “Dear Colleague Letter” to every Representative that outlines the benefits of the program and urges House Members to co-sponsor the bill. This work is critical for H.R.2482 to continue to gain momentum, and it is important that Perkins advocates also do our part in urging Representatives to support the bill.

Contact Your Representative and Spread the Word!

With the new push from Perkins supporters in Congress, now is the time to contact your Representatives to reiterate the crucial role that the Perkins Loan Program plays for students and to ask that they sign onto H.R.2482 as a cosponsor. Please use the attached excel document to locate the phone number or email address of the staff of your Representative to express your organization’s support. The leading higher education associations, including the American Council on Education, NAICU, NASFAA, AJCU and others are participating in this initiative.  Every Big Ten university recently signed a letter of support, and the cosponsors continue to sign on. 

Please send the letter to others and post it where appropriate as we make an intensive push over the next couple of weeks to build the bi-partisan list of cosponsors!

The Dear Colleague Letter (attached to this communication) explains:

  • 67% of Perkins borrowers are dependent students, 34% of whom are from families with household incomes of less than $30,000.
  • 20% of Perkins borrowers are independent students, 70% of whom have personal incomes of less than $20,000.
  • The Perkins Loan program is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2017 if Congress does not act to reauthorize this program. If the Perkins Loan is eliminated, around 500,000 students across the country will not be able to access much-needed financial aid.

New: Submit Student Testimonials

Now is the time to share student stories of the impact of Perkins! We know that without Perkins loans, hundreds of thousands of low-income students will be left without a critical component of their aid package and be forced to borrow higher cost private loans or leave school altogether…  Over the years, we’ve all heard and told stories of how the Perkins Loan was a lifesaver for our students.  Now it is time to share them, as these stories are incredibly useful for Perkins Loan advocates and our Congressional champions.  Please click here to  submit Perkins Loan testimonials to COHEAO, or send them directly to Hannah Allen (hallen@wpllc.net). 

Perkins Extension Act Dear Colleague Letter

Congressional Education Staff 071717

 

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