Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 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.

Leave A Comment