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house Bill H.R. 2526

Should Graduate and Professional Students be Eligible for Federally Subsidized Student Loans?

Argument in favor

Reinstating the eligibility of graduate and professional students for federally subsidized student loans would help more people develop their skills and contribute to the American economy.

Staci's Opinion
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08/20/2017
I am currently a grad student getting my masters degree for a career in the mental health field. By the time I graduate, I will have accumulated over 100k of debt (undergrad + grad). All to enter a much needed field to help people, but also a field that doesn't pay a lot. I will be paying off this debt for the rest of my life. The little bit of help from subsidized loans would have meant a lot to me. I hope that this law is passed to at least help future students.
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Kate's Opinion
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08/20/2017
I am hearing the claim that decreasing the cost of a degree would over saturate the market and make the degree worthless. However if this is true then it would mean college/graduate degrees are simply an elitist measurement used to keep the poor out of "intellectual" fields. If a degree is truly about knowledge and skill then making it more widely available will ensure the most talented and educated workers.
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Laura's Opinion
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08/20/2017
Let's make all levels of education more accessible for all!
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Argument opposed

If graduate and professional students want to take out federal students loans they should have to be unsubsidized — taxpayers should only help foot the bill for undergraduate loans.

Will's Opinion
···
08/20/2017
Sure, in an ideal world, but where is the money coming from? The national debt is so obscene, I'd rather not endorse yet another program that can only exist by pinning the bill on my future child's income. Student loans have increased 457% since 2003. The only reason why it is possible for colleges to charge more and more is that the federal government continues to let people borrow more and more. Yet another case where if government just got the fuck out of it, prices would decline. But in my opinion that's not at all what the government wants -- as long as you are in debt to them you are dependent on them, and as long as you are dependent on them they can control you.
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Richard's Opinion
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08/20/2017
Get the government out of the loan business.
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Richard's Opinion
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08/20/2017
The reason why college is so expensive is because the government subsidizes the loans and the college know they will get paid so they hack the price up
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
    IntroducedMay 18th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 2526?

This bill — known as the POST GRAD Act — would reinstate the ability of the Dept. of Education to make subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans to graduate and professional students. Such students have been ineligible for the subsidized Stafford loans since the Budget Control Act of 2011 was signed on August 5, 2011. The difference between Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans is that the federal government pays the interest on subsidized loans while a student’s enrolled at least half-time, during the six-month grace period after they leave school, and during deferment.

The bill’s full title is the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt (POST GRAD) Act.

Impact

Graduate and professional students eligible for subsidized federal student loans; and the Dept. of Education.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2526

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced this legislation to make graduate students eligible to receive federally subsidized student loans. Chu reintroduced this bill in the current Congress after introducing it during the previous Congress and it failed to gain traction:

“By adding thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of a loan, the Budget Control Act added a severe disincentive to students seeking the higher degrees they need. This bill would fix that by treating graduate students like their undergraduate counterparts and once again making them eligible to receive Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. These loans do not accrue interest while the student is still in school, saving the student thousands of dollars over time… At a time when our country is facing a shortage of specialized workers in critical fields, we should be doing everything we can to encourage students to enter these fields, rather than creating additional barriers to higher education.”

This legislation has the support of 34 Democratic cosponsors in the House.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: DNY59 / iStock)

AKA

POST GRAD Act

Official Title

To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reinstate the authority of the Secretary of Education to make Federal Direct Stafford Loans to graduate and professional students.

    I am currently a grad student getting my masters degree for a career in the mental health field. By the time I graduate, I will have accumulated over 100k of debt (undergrad + grad). All to enter a much needed field to help people, but also a field that doesn't pay a lot. I will be paying off this debt for the rest of my life. The little bit of help from subsidized loans would have meant a lot to me. I hope that this law is passed to at least help future students.
    Like (196)
    Follow
    Share
    Sure, in an ideal world, but where is the money coming from? The national debt is so obscene, I'd rather not endorse yet another program that can only exist by pinning the bill on my future child's income. Student loans have increased 457% since 2003. The only reason why it is possible for colleges to charge more and more is that the federal government continues to let people borrow more and more. Yet another case where if government just got the fuck out of it, prices would decline. But in my opinion that's not at all what the government wants -- as long as you are in debt to them you are dependent on them, and as long as you are dependent on them they can control you.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    I am hearing the claim that decreasing the cost of a degree would over saturate the market and make the degree worthless. However if this is true then it would mean college/graduate degrees are simply an elitist measurement used to keep the poor out of "intellectual" fields. If a degree is truly about knowledge and skill then making it more widely available will ensure the most talented and educated workers.
    Like (149)
    Follow
    Share
    Let's make all levels of education more accessible for all!
    Like (117)
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    Helping those in need achieve a post-secondary degree to build themselves up and position themselves to better serve our economy should be something we can rally behind. No one should be bankrupt from trying to learn.
    Like (61)
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    Is this even a question
    Like (39)
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    Educated citizenry is always a benefit to the society. Especially if we are hoping to increase the number of STEM workers and begin to import less H1B workers on visa. This used to be available and the fears of problems many "nays" list just weren't happening then. Why would they happen now? Also, student loans do not put the federal government into the loan business. These are bank loans. Just guaranteed by the Fed and interest paid by the Fed until student graduates.
    Like (38)
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    Yes, and public undergraduate college should be tuition free... Investing in the education of our citizens is an investment in the future of the US...
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    Our graduate students deserve our support for the work they are putting in to better our society.
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    We must put an emphasis on education in this country. As frightening as it may be for many, (and being middle aged I get it), we will not be going back to those slower what some see as easier times. We will continue to live in this global village. Technology will both virtually and physically put us closer together. We will have to look to science and technology to solve our problems. From Health, to Agriculture, from renewable resources to weapons that can stop but not kill, we will need to train every person to the fullest of their capabilities. We must acknowledge that we are failing so many of our young people and that education can help solve those problems as well. We now know that there are ways to teach our children empathy and compassion at a very young age. We MUST put education at the very top of every political list for the answers are there to find. Yes, we must expand the loans, but we need to revamp our entire educational system to focus on the needs of our country today and the needs of our planet tomorrow.
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    Get the government out of the loan business.
    Like (22)
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    The reason why college is so expensive is because the government subsidizes the loans and the college know they will get paid so they hack the price up
    Like (20)
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    This question is "Should we make graduate degrees less valuable and more expensive?" When the government subsidizes something, you mess with supply and demand - supply OF people with graduate degrees (but demand for people with graduate degrees is unchanged) and demand FOR spots in graduate degree programs (but supply of spots in graduate programs is unchanged). So the price for a degree goes up and the wage premium justified by that degree in the marketplace drops. Now there are twice as many people with that qualification, but not twice as many jobs. So the qualification isn't as valuable, so even if you do get the job it's harder to pay back that loan than if the government hadn't made your accomplishment less unique. The wage for a graduate degree drops because employers don't have to pay as much of a premium to attract that qualification because it is more common. So you have more people in debt, but no guarantee of more jobs for that higher volume, and the ones who do get jobs will have lower wages. No. Don't do that.
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    Yes please! Grad students should be eligible for Pell Grants as well!
    Like (13)
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    The best way to ensure a productive nation is to have educated citizens. Helping those who need financing to get that education makes good sense for our country.
    Like (13)
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    Obtaining professional training can take a decade or more after college graduation. Students shouldn't have to work to go to school, they should focus on their professional education. Even so, the cost of living continues to increase, and students must live on whatever they can earn or student loans. They then have to spend the next decades of their lives paying this back, rather than focusing on their profession and work. Having done this for many years myself, this is no way to live, and no way to train the next generation. If we can help these dedicated and ambitious learners - who will become our leaders - by allowing them to get low cost loans, we should.
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    Yes. An investment in educating our youth (or anyone) is an investment in our nation. The more educated a society is the stronger, more successful and stable that society tends to be. I believe undergraduate studies should be free or close to free and subsidized assistance should be available for post-grad students as well. A good education can serve as the great equalizer to lift the marginalized up onto a level playing field. It seems we are trending toward only the wealthy or those willing to assume huge debt being able to receive a college education in the future. This trajectory needs to be disrupted asap both in the interest of social justice and for the future of our economy. A broadly well educated society is among the most effective of checks against tyranny, financial stagnation or decline and social decay. We should all support the education of our citizens. As for where the money will come from, I have a few suggestions. We could appropriately tax the wealthy and corporations. We could stop pouring tax dollars into the pockets of the greedy military industrial complex and the equally greedy and immoral emerging private prison system. We could stop fighting senseless wars that do little beyond cost lives. And we could refrain from throwing tax dollars away on senseless projects like 45's ridiculous wall. I've said "could", but what I meant to say was should. We should do these things. And we should use the freed up tax dollars to support a well educated citizenry.
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    This bill would make it easier for a lot of hard working, dedicated people to advance in their professions when they otherwise could not afford it. It's a good stop gap measure to help the poor and middle class get, and keep getting access to higher learning, until we can make collage (at all levels) freely available to all.
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    No. No more bail outs, no more helping those that can help themselves. I'm sorry, we don't need to spend the money on frivolous things. If you want to get a higher level of education, you are more welcome to it...at your own expense.
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    The pursuit is noble but not fair when universities profit as much as they do. End the loan programs and reduce the cost of higher education. I will never own a home because of my student debt. I'd been better off stoping after four years despite the fact that I have done pretty well in contributing to my field.
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