Washington, DC – The Career College Association (CCA) urged Congress to extend the Secretary of Education’s authority to purchase student loans from lenders. In April of this year, Congress enacted and the President signed the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (ECASLA) of 2008. The law allowed the Secretary of Education to purchase loans from lenders but that authority would end in July 2009 if the new extension is not passed. The newly proposed bill HR 6889, which has strong bi-partisan support, would extend that authority until July 2010.
“Congress did the right thing and was proactive last April when it protected students from the uncertainty in the credit markets,” said President and CEO of the CCA Harris N. Miller. “But that uncertainty shows no signs of letting up and the truth is we don’t know when it will. Congress needs to act today to ensure that those students already planning their college futures for next year will still have the opportunity to attend.”
“When ECASLA was passed last year, the federal student loan markets stabilized right away. And we have seen that this program is working as students and their parents covered in the program have received their federal loan disbursements,” Miller said. “We know it works, so the task ahead is to make sure Congress has the priorities of students in mind and passes HR 6889. We call upon Congress to act now before the situation becomes more urgent.”
On a normal schedule, early admissions to college will begin in the fall. In January of 2009, FAFSA and other financial aid programs will begin being awarded to parents and students. By extending the Department of Education’s ability to purchase FFELP loans through July 2010, Congress can protect and secure the federal student aid program for thousands of potential students and families. Moreover, engaging and resolving this issue now allows colleges and financial aid counselors more time to handle the changes created through the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and more closely respond to the needs of incoming students.
About Career College Association
The Career College Association (CCA) is a voluntary membership organization of accredited, private postsecondary schools, institutes, colleges and universities that provide career-specific educational programs. CCA has more than 1,400 members that educate and support over one million students each year for employment in over 200 occupational fields. CCA member institutions provide the full range of higher education programs: masters and doctoral degree programs, two- and four-year associate and baccalaureate degree programs, and short-term certificate and diploma programs. Visit CCA at www.career.org.