Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Congress Attempts to Relieve Financial Burdens of Students Displaced by Katrina

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Congress Attempts to Relieve Financial Burdens of Students Displaced by Katrina

Article excerpt

College students whose educations were interrupted by Hurricane Katrina might get some relief from their student aid burden. Amidst the rush of disaster relief legislation going through Congress last month, the House of Representatives unanimously approved the Pell Grant Hurricane and Disaster Relief Act, which would allow the secretary of education to waive Pell Grant repayment for students impacted by natural disasters.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce included such relief in its Higher Education Act reauthorization currently awaiting action on the House floor.

The House also passed the companion Student Grant Hurricane and Disaster Relief Act, which would provide the same relief for students who took out other federal grants.

The Senate has not acted yet, though Sens. MeI Martinez, R-FIa., and David Vitter, R-La., introduced the Federal Pell Grant Hurricane and Disaster Relief Act, which has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Meanwhile, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., ranking member of the Education and the Workforce committee, has introduced the Katrina College Relief Act, which would provide six-month payment deferrals to student borrowers affected by the disaster. …

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