March 25, 2010

Damn. Congress is on a roll! Unreal stuff is happening all of a sudden. What is going on???

A massive overhaul of the student loan program was just approved. It’ll now be easier to pay back your loans, money will be redirected back into higher education, and the government saves money. Everybody wins. Oh, except the banks, who will have a smaller pool of suckers to fleece.

The Congressional Budget Office said the direct-lending approach would save taxpayers about $61 billion over 10 years. Roughly $40 billion of the savings will be redirected to higher education. Education programs will get an additional $10 billion from the health care package.

The bill includes some landmark changes, like automatic increases, tied to inflation, in the maximum Pell grant award. But for individual students, the increase in the maximum Pell grant — to $5,900 in 2019-20 from $5,550 for the 2010-11 school year — is minuscule, compared with the steep, inexorable rise in tuition for public and private colleges alike.

That last bit’s a bummer, but overall it looks like an improvement to me.

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