August 10, 2000: Making College More Affordable and Accessible for America's Families

Thursday, August 10, 2000

When we open the doors of college, we open the doors of opportunity; we give people the chance to live out their own dreams. And in the process, we strengthen our nation and our ability to contribute to the progress of the entire world

Today, in Chicago, Illinois, President Clinton announced new steps to make college more affordable for students and parents, and to ease college debt for teachers in high-need communities. First, he announced that the Department of Education will lower interest rates on direct student loans for students who repay their loans on time, saving students and parents $600 million and taxpayers $5 million over the next five years. Second, he announced a new proposal to ease college debt for teachers in lower-income areas. The President called on Congress to enact his proposals to strengthen education and make college more affordable, including the College Opportunity Tax Cut. Today's announcement builds on the Administration's eight years of efforts to reform the student loan program and create more opportunities for college.

LOWERING INTEREST RATES ON DIRECT STUDENT LOANS. The President announced two new incentives to reward students who repay their loans on time:

Students must make their first 12 payments on time to keep these benefits. Together with other interest rate and fee reductions since the start of the Clinton-Gore Administration, students can now save as much as $1,300 on $10,000 in loans. These new repayment incentives will:

EASING COLLEGE DEBT FOR TEACHERS IN HIGH-NEED COMMUNITIES. The Department of Education is proposing a new rule to provide loan forgiveness for teachers in lower-income areas that have trouble retaining teachers. The new rule would forgive up to $5,000 in loans after 5 consecutive years of teaching in high-poverty schools. Through 2003, over 25,000 teachers will receive $122 million in loan forgiveness.

CALLING ON CONGRESS TO INVEST IN AMERICA'S EDUCATION PRIORITIES. President Clinton urged Congress to pass a budget that makes investments in key education initiatives. The current Republican budget:

August 2000

August 22, 2000: Highlighting the Success of Welfare to Work

August 10, 2000: Making College More Affordable and Accessible for America's Families

July 31, 2000: Highlighting the Need for Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries with Disabilities

July 27, 2000: Challenging Congress to Act on America's Priorities

July 26, 2000: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

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