Congress urged to revoke student aid changes

A mere US$600 stood between Christian Fair (20) and his future this semester, when the United States Department of Education denied his parents a loan to help pay for tuition fees and textbooks, writes Elvina Nawaguna for Reuters.

The federal Parent PLUS loan programme allows parents of undergraduate students to help pay for their children's college. While qualifying for those loans already required a credit check, in 2011 the department unexpectedly tightened its underwriting terms to include charge-offs and medical bill collections, rendering thousands of parents ineligible.

Fortunately, a group of alumni raised the money that Fair needed to stay in school. But thousands more students in institutions serving largely low-to-moderate income students and racial minorities have since last year dropped out because of a spike in PLUS loans. Advocates for minority and low-income students are now focusing on Congress, hoping they can sway lawmakers to reverse changes to PLUS loans and other disadvantageous reforms.
Full report on the Reuters site