The AAMC June 26 joined 18 other higher education organizations in a letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Patty Murray (D-Wash.) advocating for the protection of GradPLUS loans in any effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act [See Washington Highlights, March 22].
GradPLUS is a long-term federal loan program that allows students to borrow up to the full cost of attendance of a graduate or professional degree. These loans supplement any leftover costs after other financial aid, such as tuition waivers, scholarships, grants, or Stafford loans, are distributed. The letter notes how GradPLUS “provides a critical pathway for graduate and professional students to finance their degrees, and as a result, enter the U.S. workforce as highly-educated and qualified professionals.”
GradPLUS recipients tend to be the neediest borrowers and nontraditional students, and without these federal loans, these students would be forced to take out private student loans with less favorable terms to fully finance their education. This could have a disproportionate impact on the neediest borrowers and nontraditional students, who may not have access to private loans.