Scrolling Headlines:

An open letter to the students of UMass -

March 24, 2017

Pat Kelsey informs UMass AD Ryan Bamford of change of heart just 35 minutes before scheduled press conference -

March 23, 2017

Past and present UMass football players participate in 2017 Pro Day Thursday -

March 23, 2017

Pat Kelsey reportedly backs down from UMass men’s basketball coaching position -

March 23, 2017

Students react to new fence around Townehouses -

March 23, 2017

‘Do You Have The Right To Do Drugs?’ debate held in Bowker Auditorium -

March 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to build on three-game winning streak against Brown -

March 23, 2017

UMass softball riding five-game win streak into first Atlantic 10 showdown -

March 23, 2017

Sanzo: Inability to win close games has hurt UMass baseball -

March 23, 2017

Hannah Murphy scores 100th career goal in UMass women’s lacrosse 16-9 win over Harvard -

March 23, 2017

Old age does no harm to indie rock legends The Feelies -

March 23, 2017

A track-by-track breakdown of Drake’s new project -

March 23, 2017

When a president lies -

March 23, 2017

Let them eat steak, and other gender norms I hate -

March 23, 2017

Dissecting Science: Episode Two -

March 22, 2017

Holy Cross 10-run eighth inning sinks UMass baseball -

March 22, 2017

UMass students react to Spring Concert lineup -

March 22, 2017

Letter: Vote yes for Amherst -

March 22, 2017

You don’t have to walk alone -

March 22, 2017

Tyler Bogart and D.J. Smith lead UMass men’s lacrosse during three game win streak -

March 22, 2017

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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