Further support for the argument the student loan reform is one of the most obvious good things about this week's legislation comes from McClatchy's David Lightman:
Students and their families should find the student loan process simpler, and lower-income students should find more financial help, under the sweeping changes tucked into the health-care legislation that Congress passed this week.
The measure, aimed at taking banks and other private lenders out of the lucrative federal subsidized student-loan market, also would lessen the burden for some graduates as they pay back their loans.
Currently, certain students with low incomes and large loan balances don't have to pay more than 15 percent of their incomes each month on the loans. The new law will lower that to 10 percent [David Lightman, "Student loans should be simpler under new law," McClatchy via Yahoo News, 2010.03.26].
Exactly as Tony stated, students still have total choice to seek private student loans; banks offering such loans simply won't get federal subsidies. As Senator Tom Harkin explains, why should we support contuinuing "a subsidy to the big banks in this country?... We take that money and give it to students in ."
In the same article, fellow liberal Pedro de la Torre of the Center for American Progress says, "We've known for decades that subsidies are unnecessary and expensive, and special interest lobbying has kept these provisions on the books."
Even if good conservatives like Linda and Rod question giving grants to students or anyone else, they can certainly support bucking special interests and eliminating unnecessary and expensive federal subsidies to big corporations... can't they?
Update 12:19 CDT: But now over half the universities in the country to switch over their financial aid computer systems by July 1. Disaster waiting to happen, right?
Some aid administrators whose schools have converted said the transition was painless. It involved, they said, computer system adjustments and making sure that student borrowers submit a new promissory note.
"The process is very simple," Walter O'Neill, assistant vice president for financial aid at Roosevelt University in Chicago, said Thursday. "I can't even come up with an example of a hiccup."
Anthony Erwin, senior director for university financial aid and scholarships at Northeastern University in Boston, said that he had encountered "overly burdensome" rules and regulations in some past contacts with the federal government but that the university's move to direct lending in 2008 went off without a hitch -- "an absolutely different experience" [Nick Anderson, "Colleges scramble to adjust as student loan overhaul nears passage," Washington Post, 2010.03.26].
Additionally, Matthew Blake calls student loan reform, in theory, "unassailable."