Stefanik trying to save needed college loans

To the editor:

Statewide, 50,000 New Yorkers, including hundreds of students here at Clarkson University, rely on the Federal Perkins Loan Program to pay for their education. The Perkins Loan Program provides need-based loans that are often used by students coming from lower-income families. These loans help fill the gaps left by direct loans and other student aid. Perkins Loans really do make a difference for our nation’s students. In fact, more than a third of those who use Perkins Loans come from families with household incomes of less than $30,000.

The Perkins Loan Program was allowed to expire on Sept. 30 due to government inaction, jeopardizing the education of students across New York and the country. This must be addressed, as we know that the expiration of this program is already having an impact on students who have not received their first disbursement. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has introduced bipartisan legislation that would fix this problem and reauthorize this critical program. It’s critical that Congress passes Rep. Stefanik’s bill immediately because it is critical that action is taken before the next award year.

The Perkins Loan Program supports the ability to acquire good-paying jobs for students after graduation and economic growth for America. It represents real return on investment for taxpayers. As a campus-based aid program using a combination of federal and university contributions, Perkins Loans are among the best examples of public-private collaborative investments that our students and their families rely upon to make a high-quality education possible. We support students from all backgrounds at Clarkson.

Most recently, more than 700 Clarkson students have accessed Perkins Loans to support their pursuit of a college degree and obtainment of a great high-paying job out of college. Thousands of Clarkson alumni before them have benefited from this program, and as the records show, more than 97 percent have paid back the government on time, making this truly the kind of “good government” that we all want to move America and our economy forward.

We view higher education as the gateway to future prosperity and long-term economic vitality, and the Perkins Loan program is a vital part of that future.

Sincerely,

Anthony G. Collins

President

Clarkson University

Potsdam

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