The AAMC joined graduate/professional, public health, and higher education organizations on three letters in support of student financial aid, including support for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and GradPLUS loans for students attending graduate and professional school.
In response to a March 21 House Education and Workforce Subcommittee hearing [see Washington Highlights, March 31], the AAMC April 3 joined a letter with 12 other organizations to House Education and Workforce Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Ranking Member Susan Davis (D-Calif.), which addresses student financial aid for graduate students. The letter notes, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs requiring a masters, doctorate or professional degree are expected to increase at a rate higher than the projected growth rate for all other jobs requiring other levels of education and training.”
The letter provides recommendations, including proposals to invest in “federal public service scholarship and loan repayment programs, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for medical and health professions students and other graduate and professional students” and urges the subcommittee to preserve GradPLUS.
The AAMC also joined 575 organizations representing students, educators, advocates, consumers, institutions, and employers on an April 4 letter to Congress in support of broadly protecting federal student aid programs. Among other things, the letter urges Congress to “protect the federal student loan program” calling it one of “the nation’s most important investments in higher education.”
Finally, the AAMC April 5 signed on to a higher education community letter to House and Senate leadership in opposition to cuts proposed by the administration [see Washington Highlights, March 17 and March 31]. The letter, organized by the American Council on Education, expresses support for student aid programs and investments in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal year (FY) 2017. It states, “Students depend on financial aid programs to pursue postsecondary education and researchers depend on the competitive grant funding made available to drive the technological innovation that fuels our economy and improves the lives of all of our citizens.”
The letter also reminds policymakers that the cuts “run counter to the strong bipartisan support for student aid and scientific research Congress has historically demonstrated.”