Tester urges Senate to reauthorize college loans for low-income students

Perkins Loan Program expired on Sept. 30

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester is urging his Senate colleagues to reauthorize Perkins loans to help low-income students afford to attend college.

Perkins loans, which make higher education more affordable for over 500,000 students by providing a fixed interest rate and charging no interest while students attend school, expired on September 30. Recent efforts to reauthorize the program were blocked in the Senate.

Tester, a former teacher, is sponsoring a resolution to encourage the Senate to reauthorize the program to provide educational opportunities to future generations of students.

“Higher education is the best way to get a good job and get ahead in life, and it shouldn’t just be available to those who can easily afford it,” Tester said. “Reauthorizing Perkins loans will ensure that more Montana students can attend college, while still ensuring that they are still responsible for their own education.”

Noting that over 3,000 students attending the Montana University System use Perkins loans to help afford college, Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian supports efforts to reauthorize it.

“This funding is integral to Montana students being well prepared for college and for today’s competitive workforce,” Christian said. “Stability and continuation of this important program is good for Montana students, families, employers, and communities.”

Tester, earlier this year, urged leaders of the Education Appropriations subcommittee to restore Perkins funding to 2012 pre-sequester levels.

Tester’s resolution is available online HERE.