Graduate Students Will Pay More For Loans Under Debt Deal

Sharon Rieger's picture
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Graduate students wound up on the “Loser” list from Washington’s debt deal.

Tucked into the bill that would enact the $2.4 trillion debt-reduction plan is a provision that would force graduate students to pay interest on student loans while they’re still in school. Currently, Washington picks up the interest payments for graduate students while they attend school.

The cut is part of a surprise compromise that preserves tuition payments for low-income college students under the Pell grant program. While Pell grants were expected to take big spending hits next year, they emerged almost fully funded in the debt deal, said Terry Hartle, spokesman for the American Council on Education, which lobbies for colleges and universities.

“It was an outcome that was unimaginable just a couple of weeks ago,” Hartle said. “For Miami Dade College, the budget agreement is good news. It’s not as good of a deal for students, say, at the University of Miami.’’

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