LULAC Urges Congress to Help Students Achieve the American Dream by Passing the College Student Relief Act.

Student loans would be cut in half.

For more information contact:
Lizette Jenness Olmos, 202-833-6130 ext. 16

Washington, DC –The League of United Latin American Citizens, endorses H.R. 5, the College Student Relief Act in order to reduce the undue burden of debt being placed on middle class students and families.

“LULAC supports this critical piece of legislation that would cut interest rates on Subsidized Stafford Loans in half from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent over a five-year period,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “We need to provide immediate relief to middle class families by reducing interest rates. This would help an estimated 5.5 million students get need-based federal loans.”

According to a September 2006 report by the Campaign for America's Future entitled, Higher Education Soaring out Of Reach for America’s Families, four-year college graduates now have an average loan debt of $23,000 plus $2,000 in credit card debt. The programs for poor and for working people face the largest cuts.

Last year, Congress raided $12 billion from the student loan fund, and placed college education farther out of reach for students and working families. Americans need to have an opportunity to attend college and access to an affordable education.

Newsweek reports that 88% support this legislation as well as both Democrats and Republicans.

This is just a first step toward making college more affordable but it is a step in the right direction. LULAC will continue to encourage Congress to increase the maximum Pell grant award from $4,050 to $5,100. Pell grants go only to the neediest students and do not have to be paid back.

“Making the American Dream a reality for all children is essential for our economy, our competitiveness,” said Rosales. The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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