News Column

Rep. Richmond, Responds to Department of Education's Revised Parent PLUS Loan Eligibility Standards

August 8, 2014



WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 -- Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La. (2nd CD), issued the following news release:

The Department of Education proposed new regulations that will update eligibility standards and improve access for student and parent borrowers under the federal Direct PLUS loan program. The new rule would clarify and update the regulations on adverse credit history and represents the result of negotiations between the Department of Education and various stakeholders.

"I am glad the Department of Education is moving forward with these new standards," said Rep. Richmond (LA-02). "I have worked with the Department to change the unfair eligibility standards that denied students across the country the opportunity to attend a college they are qualified for but couldn't afford. These standards hurt students and damaged schools across the country, especially Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the 2nd District."

"I am proud of the work my colleagues in the CBC and HBCU community have done on this matter. I applaud the Department of Education for taking this first step and hope they will act quickly to finalize it so that students and schools can begin to see the results."

This rule comes about after the Department of Education changed its standards on adverse credit history in 2011. That change resulted in a large number of families being denied loans, including many that had previously qualified, and caused financial problems at colleges and universities nationwide. Rep. Cedric Richmond has been a leading advocate for revised standards to increase access to the program and has introduced legislation and written letters to the Department addressing the problems with their standards.

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