Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football can’t overcome four third quarter Mississippi State touchdowns, fall 47-35 Saturday -

September 24, 2016

UMass football’s fourth quarter comeback attempt falls short against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 24, 2016

Cyr: Despite improvement, UMass football still can’t capture first marquee FBS win -

September 24, 2016

MassPIRG kicks off for the fall semester -

September 22, 2016

UMass Resistance Studies Initiative hosts activist and author George Lakey -

September 22, 2016

UMass field hockey readies for tough tests against Stanford, Boston College -

September 22, 2016

Calling the shots: everything you need to know about the flu vaccine -

September 22, 2016

UMass assistant Professor speaks about oppression of American Indians -

September 22, 2016

Astronomy department head hosting sundial and sky-watching event -

September 22, 2016

UMass football looks to pull off upset against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 22, 2016

Cyr: Comis? Ford? Here’s how I would handle the UMass quarterback situation this weekend against Mississippi State -

September 22, 2016

An unofficial presidential debate drinking game for the unruly masses -

September 22, 2016

Stop sweating the small stuff -

September 22, 2016

In defense of being uncomfortable -

September 22, 2016

Please go to sleep -

September 22, 2016

VIDEO – ‘Life in the Dollhouse: Wes Anderson and the Dollhouse Aesthetic’ -

September 22, 2016

Student struck by car near UMass’ Mullins Center -

September 21, 2016

President Anthony Vitale and Vice President Nick Rampone anticipate productive year at SGA -

September 21, 2016

Symposium hosts discussion on safety for journalism students -

September 21, 2016

Andrew Ford, Ross Comis still battling for UMass football’s starting QB position -

September 21, 2016

House of Representatives votes in favor of student aid

n.spstorypicIn one of the greatest federal investments in higher education in American history, the United States House of Representatives voted 253 to 171 in favor of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) on Thursday. The bill, which is yet to pass the Senate, would surpass both the Higher Education Act and the G.I. Bill in the amount of funding it could deliver to students in the form of need-based aid.

The new piece of legislation aims to reform the student loan industry, whose business practices have been quite profitable over recent years, but have led to many young Americans becoming increasingly weighed down by debt before even joining the workforce. SAFRA will eliminate all federal subsidies to private banks, and will then redirects the nearly one hundred billion dollars in savings towards need-based programs to aid students directly.

“I’m ecstatic,” said UMass senior Jelisa Difo, who travelled to Washington D.C. this week to support the legislation with a number of other students and alumni. “I’m very happy it went through the House so quickly.”

Difo, a member of the United States Student Association (USSA), spoke at a press conference Monday with House leaders George Miller and Nancy Pelosi, as well as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

“This won’t affect me, or any of us that are seniors, but it will simplify the FAFSA process and allow students to get more financial aid through Pell grants rather than private loans,” said Difo. “It’s something students should be aware of.”

“On behalf of the USSA’s 4.5 million student members at over 400 campuses, we thank Members of the House of Representatives for their diligent work on passing SAFRA,” said USSA President Gregory Cendana in a press release yesterday.  “Students today are taking on insurmountable amounts of debt to pay for college, essentially mortgaging their futures with convoluted loan plans from private banks.  SAFRA will reform this broken system by increasing federal, need-based aid that will help bring President Obama’s goal to lead the world in college graduations to fruition.”

It remains to be seen if President Barack Obama will get an opportunity to sign into law the significant changes to financial aid that the U.S. House has suggested; the Senate will be voting on its own version of the reform bill in late September.

Nick Bush can be reached at nbush@student.umass.edu.

S.P. Sullivan contributed to this report.

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