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Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on the Signing of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007


Secretary Spellings today made the following statement regarding the signing of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007:

President Bush today signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, making college more affordable for low-income students. Over the next five years, Federal Pell Grant funding will increase by $11.4 billion, allowing the maximum Pell award to increase from $4,310 in 2007 to $5,400 by 2012.

In today’s knowledge economy, we must provide our students with greater access to a post-secondary degree. Pell Grants are the most effective way to target Federal aid to our neediest students, and President Bush has long been committed to increased funding for this critical program. In fact, the number of students receiving Pell funding since 2001 has increased by more than one million.

The bill, however, leaves difficult choices for future Congresses and the next Administration, while also diverting resources away from Pell Grants to poorly targeted policies and new mandatory programs. This bill also fails to resolve implementation issues the Administration raised regarding changes to the student loan programs.

It is critical for America’s students and their families that we maintain a healthy student loan system and strong competition between the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and Direct Loan (DL) programs. We will be monitoring this bill closely during implementation to ensure it does not cause unintended consequences, increase taxpayer costs or upset the vital competitive balance between the FFEL and DL programs.


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