Congresswoman Wilson Applauds the U.S Department of Education in Its Decision to Provide Relief to Students and Their Families and Keep College Attainable

Congresswoman Wilson

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, October 22nd, the U.S. Department of Education publicized its final rule for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program. This rule will help more students and families pay for college and will increase student access to postsecondary education through its redefinition of “adverse credit,” which is used to determine if borrowers are eligible for the loan. Through a collaborative process, the Department developed the final rule, which increases the amount of debt to $2,085 for a potential borrower to be considered as having adverse credit, and links that amount to inflation through the Consumer Price Index.  The Department will also now provide enhanced information on borrowers’ loans through loan counseling to all PLUS loan applicants to empower parents with additional details on their loans.

As a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson urged Secretary Arne Duncan and the Department to reexamine this definition in an effort to assist families in helping to pay for their child’s tuition. Congresswoman Wilson issued the following statement:

“For many years, the Federal Direct PLUS Loan program provided a vital lifeline to students and their families to achieve their dreams of academic and professional success. The U.S. Department of Education’s previous changes to the rule unfairly placed an enormous burden on low-income and first-generation college students, specifically those attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities, by tightening credit checks and expanding the review of credit history. I commend the Department for working with lawmakers and advocates to improve the rule in the best interest of our students. I believe that today’s announcement is a great step towards keeping college within reach for all students.”

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