President Obama announced “Student Aid Bill of Rights”

first_imgPresident Barack Obama officially unveiled a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” this week,  a memorandum geared towards alleviating the burden on college students to repay their loans.According to the presidential memorandum released by the White House, the bill aims to create a responsive student feedback system where students have the opportunity to file complaints about federal student loan lenders, servicers, collection agencies and institutions of higher education.Additionally, the bill looks to create high-quality, borrower-focused servicing and ensuring fair treatment for struggling and distressed borrowers by raising standards for student debt collectors.During a speech to students at Georgia Institute of Technology, the president explained that the key to obtaining an income at or above middle-class wages is through a college degree. To do so, he said, students must be able to afford the financial burden of repaying monthly loans.“And it [the bill] says every student deserves access to a quality, affordable education,” Obama said at Georgia Tech. “Every student should be able to access the resources to pay for college. Every borrower has the right to an affordable repayment plan. Every borrower has the right to quality customer service, reliable information and fair treatment, even if they struggle to repay their loans.”The presidential memorandum leads officials in the Department of Education and federal agencies to implement greater transparency for student loan holders. According to the White House, the secretary of education will create a new website on July 1, 2016, to provide a responsive student feedback system in which students are able to file complaints and feedback regarding financial aid and loan repayments, specifically targeted to decrease misleading claims.“I didn’t run for president just to get us back to where we were — I ran for president to get us to where we need to go,” Obama said. “And where we need to go is a growing middle class with rising incomes and opportunities for everybody who’s willing to work hard.”Prior to the release of the “Student Aid Bill of Rights,” Obama released the “Pay As You Earn” plan which grants student borrowers the ability to cap federal loan payments at 10 percent of their living wages, proposed plans to make two years of community college free for students, granted $75 million to colleges and universities through the First in the World program and announced 600 new commitments to help help increase the student graduation rate.In the bill, the president included steps to prioritize the needs of student borrowers by pairing the Department of Education, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget to analyze which best fit practices will benefit student borrowers.“So based on this principle, we’re going to make sure universities are using technology to help students learn at lower costs,” Obama said. “We’re going to make sure that loan servicers can find better ways to help borrowers keep up with monthly payments that they can afford.  We as a country can do more to invest in Pell grants and community college to make sure quality education is affordable for everybody.”The memorandum also focuses on helping borrowers afford monthly loan payments by ensuring that loan servicing agencies provide fair interest rates on federal student loans and require loan disclosures.Obama explained that every individual, regardless of party preference, should sign the bill and encouraged all citizens interested in bolstering a stronger workforce for the future to take action by signing the bill online.“It’s a simple set of principles that if everybody signed onto — Republicans, Democrats, state legislators, university presidents, members of Congress — it can focus our attention, all these different things that we’re doing, into one simple, basic idea, which is, make sure that when you’re doing the right thing, that your society has got your back and is looking out for you,” Obama said.last_img