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On Wednesday, October 26, President Obama announced an executive order designed to help college graduates who are struggling with student loan debt. The executive order allows Americans to consolidate their student loans and lower the maximum payment from 15 percent to 10 percent of income; it also specifies that any debt will be forgiven after 20 years, instead of 25 years. Senior Vice President Donald Lassere appeared on Fox 9 News in the Twin Cities to discuss what it all means for students:
In addition, Scholarship America issued the following statement from Lauren Segal, president and CEO, regarding President Obama’s plan to assist students with student loan debt:
"We want to commend President Obama for offering a plan to ease the student loan burden on college students. Not only will his proposal decrease the default rate on student loans but it also has the potential to put money in the hands of students, enabling them to invest in the economy by purchasing homes, cars and other consumer goods.
"With student loan debt now exceeding $1 trillion, the financial cost of a higher education has caused the U.S. to drop from first in the world to 12th in the percentage of adults with college degrees. Forecasts show that by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs will require at least some postsecondary education and without significant change, the U.S. will fall short by 3 million workers.
"The solution to the student debt issue requires a multi-pronged approach that includes changes in public policy as well as an increase in the number of private sector renewable scholarships that are available to students, which provide financial resources throughout their quest for a college degree, not just for one year. In addition, we need to focus on the importance of graduating college with a manageable level of debt – a task that is becoming increasingly difficult as costs continue to rise.
"Students need to be aggressive when looking for scholarship dollars and apply for funds throughout college, not just their initial year. These combined efforts can reduce the overall debt burden and enable more students to graduate with a college degree, enhancing their future and the future vitality of the country."
Laura Telander Graf
651.698.4006 – office
612.309.3948 – cell
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About Scholarship America
Scholarship America is a national education service organization that mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. Scholarship America has distributed more than $2.5 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 1.7 million students over the last 50 years. Scholarship America’s programs, which include Dollars for Scholars®, help fund both entry-level and multi-year scholarships, as well as emergency financial grants. More information is available at scholarshipamerica.org.
Scholarship America’s Dream Award is a renewable scholarship fund targeted toward completion. These annually-increasing awards will be given to students selected from across the nation who are entering their second year of education beyond high school.
Scholarship America's blog, Success By Degrees, covers items of interest to parents, volunteers, educators and anyone interested in the big issues surrounding education, financial aid and postsecondary success. You'll find policy announcements, news releases and more, every week!
Nearly 1/4 of the U.S. population owes a collective $700 billion in student loan debt. We are committed to helping more students graduate from college with less debt. A gift of just $1 a day -- for a week, for a month, or for a year -- can help ensure that students are able to achieve their goals.