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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Slaughter Hails Deal to Save Perkins Loan Program, Calls for Immediate House Passage

December 16, 2015
Press Release
Slaughter Led Congressional Effort to Save Program Supporting More Than 500,000 Students

After raising the alarm about the looming expiration of the Perkins Loan Program, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter today hailed Senate passage of a deal to save the program that supports more than 500,000 students nationwide. In October, Slaughter led a successful House effort to extend the program for one year while negotiations for a longer term fix continued. Those negotiations yielded a compromise that passed the Senate today and now heads back to the House where Slaughter will push for its immediate passage.

“Students have relied on Perkins loans for more than fifty years to attend college and graduate school. That’s why I’ve fought to save the Perkins Loan Program and why I am pleased that the Senate has finally acted to ensure that this program will continue to help students finance their educations,” said Rep. Slaughter. “Without Perkins loans, 500,000 low-income students across the country – nearly 50,000 from the State of New York and more than 6,000 from Monroe County – would face higher barriers to obtaining an affordable education. While I strongly prefer a long-term reauthorization of the Perkins program that fully includes graduate students, this deal ensures that college costs won’t skyrocket for thousands of incoming undergraduates while Congress works to secure a lasting and comprehensive extension of this crucial college affordability program. I call on my colleagues to swiftly pass this bill so that students will have the certainty and support they need to pursue their dreams.”

The deal passed today includes a two-year extension of the Perkins Loan Program for undergraduate students and a one-year extension for current graduate students. The federal Perkins loan is a need-based loan which improves access to higher education for low-income students by providing low-interest loans to the neediest students. Without congressional action, 500,000 students will lose the safety net of the Perkins Loan Program. New York alone has close to 50,000 students who count on Perkins loans in order to afford college, the highest number of any state.

In September, Slaughter stood with Rochester university presidents, students, and education leaders to call on Congress to save the Perkins Loan Program. A short-term extension of the Perkins Loan Program was previously passed after Rep. Slaughter led 94 of her colleagues in calling on the leaders of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to save the program. When the House returned to session in early September, Slaughter stood with advocacy organizations and students as they called on Congress to reauthorize the Perkins Loan Program.