Obama Signs ‘Student Aid Bill of Rights’

President Obama speaks at Georgia Tech. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, AFP/Getty Images)
President Obama speaks at Georgia Tech.
(Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama unveiled a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” on Tuesday, arguing that that federal government should do more to help young people pay off massive student loans.

“Higher education has never been more important, but it’s also never been more expensive,” Obama told a crowd of students gathered at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

Obama traveled to Atlanta after signing a memorandum declaring the “bill of rights” program, a series of directives he said are designed “to streamline and improve the manner in which the federal government interacts with students.”

The memo directs the Department of Education and other federal agencies to look for ways to help with loan repayments. One proposal would focus on lenders to provide better customer service and create more repayment options.

Other plans include new rules for third-party organizations that collect loan repayments, requiring them to better inform borrowers about their repayment options; a new website where students can see all their loan information in one place; and another website where borrowers can file complaints about loan providers.

The somewhat modest plans are not “a silver bullet,” Obama said, but the government should do what it can to help young people get to college and to be able to finance it.

“Every borrower has the right to an affordable repayment plan,” Obama said at Georgia Tech, and “every student should be able to access the resources to pay for college.”

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SOURCE: USA Today –┬áDavid Jackson

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