The Republican stimulus package to address the accelerating COVID-19 pandemic includes several provisions aimed at struggling schools and student loan borrowers, but education associations say it’s far from enough.
“It’s deeply disappointing,” said Jon Fansmith, director of government relations at the American Council on Education, which represents nonprofit colleges and universities. “There’s not a single new dollar for students who need help.”
The stimulus package, unveiled late Thursday, includes provisions designed to shield students and borrowers from financial consequences related to widespread campus closures and job losses, but no new appropriated funds. It focuses largely on delaying loan payments without interest and penalties for up to six months, among other provisions.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and other Democrats unveiled their own student aid plan Thursday calling for $10,000 in debt relief, among other steps. They have harshly criticized the Republican bill as inadequate. Negotiations on the bill were ongoing Friday, with senators hoping for a final deal later in the day.
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