ISSUE: This proven and longstanding loan program is in jeopardy. In order for the Perkins Program to continue beyond the 2015-16 award year, Congress must reauthorize the program or extend the September 30, 2015 sunset date.
BACKGROUND: Throughout the 57-year history of the Perkins Loan Program, $7.9 billion in federal contributions have been leveraged with contributions from colleges to generate more than $36 billion in funding for low-cost student loans. To date, more than 30 million students with need have benefited from Perkins Loans.
BENEFITS: Perkins Loans provide critical support to students with economic need, offering low-cost loans with flexible repayment terms and generous forgiveness options that are public-service oriented. In 2013-2014, close to 500,000 students with need were awarded nearly $1 billion in Perkins loans. This funding is critical to students who may not qualify for any other financing options, including more costly private loans, and therefore would be unable to complete their education.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Support the Perkins Resolution:
On June 3, 2015, Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced a bipartisan resolution stating Congress’ support for the continuation of the Perkins Loan Program. Messer and Pocan, both members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, are seeking additional cosponsors on the resolution. Please share H. Res 294 with your member of Congress and ask that they co-sponsor the resolution. Click here for a Sample Email to send in support of Resolution 294.A Letter from COHEAO – Advocacy Efforts on the Future of Perkins Loans List of Perkins Supporters Gathered by Congressman Pocan’s Office
Perkins Dear Colleague Letter:
On June 16, 2015, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) to seek the support and signatures of other Members of Congress on her letter to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce supporting the reauthorization of the Federal Perkins Loan Program.This DCL amassed 95 signatures of support by Members of Congress!
When a supporter signs the petition, an email message is generated to the Congressional Member in the supporter’s district. Please show your support for this proven program by signing the Save Perkins Now Petition and sharing the information with your colleagues, students and anyone else who understands the benefits of this long-standing program. Your voice matters! Please take one minute out of your busy day to sign this petition and make a difference!
Watch this 2 minute video to learn more about the Perkins Program and what is at stake! Share the video with students, friends and colleagues!
Alert your University President, Government Relations Office & Colleagues to contact their Congressional Member and ask them to include the Federal Perkins Loan Program in the Higher Education Act Reauthorization. Let them know the importance of the Perkins Loan Program to your students and school.
COHEAO is the Coalition Of Higher Education Assistance Organizations.
More resources to assist in your advocacy efforts are included here.