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Media Advisory: Sen. Durbin to meet with UIS students to discuss cuts to federal financial aid

April 13, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) will hold a town hall meeting with students at UIS to discuss the historic cuts to federal financial student aid set to take effect on July 1.  The Senator will discuss legislation he introduced late last week to make college more affordable for students and parents. 

Durbin’s “Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act of 2006” would give students the power to lock in low interest rates and consolidate their loans with the financial institution of their choice; cut the pending fixed interest rates in half for students and parents; and increase funding for Pell grants. 

Students, families and financial aid officers are preparing to deal with substantially higher interest rates when they go into effect this summer.  According to the Project on Student Debt, the new interest rates will likely result in payments 20 percent higher than 2004-2005 rates, which would double the total interest paid by students over the life of the loan. 

The President’s 2007 budget froze the maximum Pell grant at $4,050 and eliminated the Perkins Loan program, which provides low-interest loans to low-income families.  The Deficit Reduction bill approved by the Republican Congress early this year made $12 billion in cuts to student aid – the single largest cut in the history of financial aid programs. 

DATE:  MONDAY, APRIL 17
TIME:  11:30 AM
LOCATION:  University of Illinois at Springfield, Lincoln Residence Hall

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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