Loan Relief on the Way

In an attempt to eliminate the origination fee from all student loans, congressman George Miller, D-Calif., proposed in April the Affordable Student Loans Act of 2001.

The origination fee is a 3 percent to 4 percent deduction from the total that students receive from loans. Students are expected to repay the full amount they borrow even though they only receive between 96 and 97 percent of the initial loan.

For example, a student with a $1,000 loan and a 4 percent origination fee will receive an actual amount of $960, but he or she is required to pay back the full $1,000 plus interest.

The average student debt after four years is $12,000. The Affordable Student Loans Act will save students about $400 on their loans and may make the Direct Student Loan, as well as other guaranteed loan programs, more affordable for students.

“”Although this isn’t a lot of money, it is a step by the federal government in the right direction to recognize that the universities are not affordable,”” said A.S. Vice President Internal Jenn Brown. “”It’s their responsibility to make colleges and universities more accessible to students.””

UCSD Director of Financial Aid Offices Vince DeAnda said the bill would benefit students, but will cost the government in the long run because it will be another budget item.

“”It’s a good thing for students,”” DeAnda said. “”However, it’s going to be an expense for the federal government and cost the government billions.””

Congress enacted the origination fee in 1981 to reduce the deficit, raise revenue for the government and reduce the cost of student loans. It is often called the “”student loan tax.””

However, the fee does not pay for any administrative costs or program costs for students.

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