McMorris Rodgers Leads Bipartisan Effort to Restore Funding to Perkins Loans Program

Dec 28, 2008

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) are spearheading efforts to restore $100 million in funding to the Perkins Loan Program, which offers need-based, low-interest loans to students. McMorris Rodgers and Bishop recently sent a letter to Chairman David Obey and Ranking Member James Walsh of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies asking that this important program be preserved. The letter was signed by 69 Members of Congress.

“As college costs continue to increase, it is crucial that we support loan and grant programs that give students more options and opportunities to receive a higher education,” said McMorris Rodgers. “The Perkins Loan Program provides valuable financial assistance to disadvantaged students who might not otherwise be able to attend college. This program is continually targeted in the Administration’s budget and, just like the past two years, I will fight to get funding restored.”

The Perkins Loan Program has offered long-term, low-interest loans to students for nearly fifty years. This program is aimed at a specific need-based population of students, offering them a fixed 5 percent interest rate on the loan. The program also includes important loan forgiveness provisions for fields that address specific areas of national need.

Thousands of students in Eastern Washington receive student loans through the Perkins Loan Program. During the average school year, approximately $8.7 million is disbursed to students at Eastern Washington colleges and universities through this program.

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