The Spectator

Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Clara Neupert

More stories from Clara Neupert

The Gap between the expiration and reauthorization of the loan program will disrupt many students’ tuition payment methods

Over+400%2C000+students+are+affected+by+the+Federal+Perkins+Loan+Program%2C+the+University+of+Wisconsin+System+Student+Rep%E2%80%99s+press+release+stated.+The+program+expired+on+Sept.+30%2C+2017.+
Over 400,000 students are affected by the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the University of Wisconsin System Student Rep’s press release stated. The program expired on Sept. 30, 2017.

Over 400,000 students are affected by the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the University of Wisconsin System Student Rep’s press release stated. The program expired on Sept. 30, 2017.

Kar Wei Cheng

Kar Wei Cheng

Over 400,000 students are affected by the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the University of Wisconsin System Student Rep’s press release stated. The program expired on Sept. 30, 2017.

Advertisement

Student government leaders are advocating for an extension of a student-loan program that awarded UW-Eau Claire students $2.2 million in aid during the 2016-2017 academic school year.

The Federal Perkins Loan Program provided low-interest rate loans for students in financial need for over 50 years. It expired on Sept. 30, 2017, when Congress failed to renew the program.

“Elimination of this program will take 25.4 million dollars out of the pockets of UW-System students who need assistance the most, while tying the hands of financial aid offices throughout the state by not providing a responsible replacement,” a Jan. 30, 2018 UW-System Student Representatives press release reads.

The program impacts 13,672 students in Wisconsin, 900 of which attend UW-Eau Claire. Students who applied for the loan before Oct. 1, 2017 will receive funding for the spring.

“It’s hitting close to home,” Nick Webber, Student Body Vice President at Eau Claire,  said. “It’s frustrating, but the best thing that we can do is keep the pressure on; keep letting them know how much it means to students and to families.”

Joined by Student Body President Katy McGarry and other student leaders, Webber traveled to Washington D.C. over winter break to advocate for the Perkins Loan Extension Act of 2017.

If passed, the Perkins Loan Extension Act would continue the program until 2019.

“Providing a two year extension of the program is a commonsense step towards ensuring access to this vital tool for making college more affordable,” Mark Pocan (D-WI), a supporter of the extension act, said.

In addition to being Student Body Vice President, Webber serves as the governmental relations director of the UW System Student Reps. He said his position has given him a direct line to Congress’s ears.

“I’ve been in contact with Congressional offices almost every single day,” Webber said.

The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (a larger bill that will restructure student loan programs) is causing Congressional gridlock, Webber said. This is concerning for students who depend on the Perkins Loan Program, because until reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, there is a lapse in loan programs available for low-income students.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have drafted a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act nicknamed the PROSPER Act. The bill includes plans for restructuring federal student loan programs.

In the meantime, students who utilize the Perkins Loan Program will have to find an alternative way to help pay their tuition.

Nikki Andrews, the interim director of financial aid at Blugold Central, sees the first-hand results of the program’s expiration.

“We’ve already started to feel the effects of Perkins this spring,” Andrews said. “We don’t have anything that can fill of the gap of Perkins.”

Without the Perkins Loan Program, students will have to rely on private loans, which often have higher interest rates.

During the reauthorization process, Andrews said she will remain hopeful that federal loan programs will not be pushed to the wayside.

“We want to do whatever we can to keep students in school,” Andrews said.

Webber said the voices of students who are not a part of student government are equally as important as students who are directly lobbying. In addition to contacting representatives directly by phone, he suggested using social media as a platform.

“Tell your story to anyone who’s going to listen,” Webber said. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Contributors
Clara Neupert, Sports Editor

Clara Neupert is a third-year journalism student. Her passions are biking and playing card games. She was the top supporter of Spectator bake sales last semester. She once ate nine muffins in a row.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Kar Wei Cheng, Multimedia Editor

Kar Wei Cheng is the multimedia editor at The Spectator and a third-year student studying integrated strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations. She has a passion for linguistics and photography.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    Student Senate approves creation of ‘It’s On Us’ committee

  • Blugold Radio

    This week on Blugold Radio Sunday

  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    Lippold remembered for his enthusiasm, dedication to university

  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    The 2018 midterm election results are in

  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    Tony Evers visits UWEC

  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    Changes proposed to restructure university parking system

  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    Student Senate passes resolution in support of conversion therapy ban

  • Blugold Radio

    This week on Blugold Radio Sunday

  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    Senator Tammy Baldwin visits UWEC

  • Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension

    News

    Police Blotter

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Pushing for a Federal Perkins Loan Program extension