May 24, 2007
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Thursday, May 24 , 2007
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Legislation Proposed in Illinois to Allow Illegal Immigrants to Receive Student Loans

By Brooke Heath

Recently, Illinois Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) proposed a law that would make any Illinois resident with a 3.0 grade point average eligible to receive state-backed student loans, even if he or she is an illegal immigrant. If passed, this controversial bill would allow any Illinois student seeking financial aid to be eligible for $5,000 per year to pay for his or her higher education, regardless of citizenship status.

According to Higher Education Washington, Inc.'s NewsLine, in addition to having a "B" average to qualify for financial aid, students must also have lived in the state for a minimum of three years and graduated from an Illinois high school. The bill also requires that any student who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident sign an affidavit stating that he or she will apply for permanent residency as soon as he or she is eligible.

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Ohio Attorney General Takes Action Against Borrowers with Defaulted Loans

By Brooke Heath

Ohio University alumni with defaulted student loans have reason to worry. Recently, the Office of Ohio State Attorney General Marc Dann announced that he is in pursuit of a number of alumni who have neglected to repay their student loans and, as a result, have gone into default.

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Senator Edwards announces College Opportunity Agenda

Senator John Edwards has announced a plan to make higher education more affordable for millions. His College Opportunity Agenda lays out a national "College for Everyone" initiative. The proposal would cover one year of tuition, fees, and books for students who attend public colleges and who show willingness to work hard. Edwards' agenda also provides students with the necessary tools to apply to college and obtain financial aid. It calls for simplification of the FAFSA, encourages states and institutions to maintain low tuition rates, and strengthens high school curricula in order to prepare students for college. Edwards also plans to do away with the FFEL program, which would allow students to bypass banks and go directly to the Department of Education for their borrowing needs.

McKeon and Keller concerned about budget process for changes to Direct Loan program

Senior Republican Member of the Education and Labor Committee Howard P. McKeon and Ranking Republican Member of the Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness Subcommittee Ric Keller wrote a letter to members of the House Committee on the Budget. The letter expresses concern over the budget process to be used to instigate changes in favor of the Direct Loan student aid program. In the letter, McKeon and Keller state that the method being considered would subvert legislative order and permit policy changes by way of a process typically reserved for deficit reduction.

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