Congress Passes Student Aid Bill

Today, both houses of Congress passed the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 with bipartisan support (by a vote of 79 to 12 in the Senate and 292 to 97 in the House of Representatives). This sweeping legislation represents the largest investment to help Americans pay for college since the GI Bill.

The bill would boost college financial aid by nearly $20 billion over the next five years, reduce excessive federal subsidies paid to lenders in the college loan industry, and reduce the federal budget deficit by $750 million.

Your advocacy was crucial to this victory because many activists like you let your members of Congress know you supported the bill. Thousands of AFT e-Activists contacted their representatives and senators, and your voices were heard loudly and clearly on Capitol Hill. See how your representative and your senators voted.

The College Cost Reduction Act will help students and their families receive more funding for college by:

* Increasing the Pell Grant maximum award by $4,800 next year and to $5,400 by 2012;

* Helping students save money in the long term by cutting interest rates from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent by 2011;

* Providing upfront tuition assistance for graduate and undergraduate students who agree to teach in high-need public schools;

* Increasing income protections for working students.

We appreciate the time you have taken to contact Congress on this important issue. Your efforts will clearly make a difference for millions of students, education professionals and working families.