Here are reactions from across the media spectrum:
- President Obama had this to say at the signing ceremony at Northern Virginia Community College (from New York Times, here is transcript of the comments):
- From Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in an interview with Huffington Post:
- The Department of Education's studentloan.gov site has been having problems (not what one would call an auspicious debut), from the IFAP website and a memo dated March 30th (seemed to be working this evening):
- This information won't lead to much sympathy for student lenders...surprising to see this AP headline today "Sallie Mae CEO's compensation put at $5.4 million [here is link to SLM's proxy filing filed today] :"
Most of the reduction came from the lower value of stock and options that the lender — formally known as SLM Corp. — gave Albert L. Lord, who began a second stint as CEO in December 2007.
Lord received stock and options that were valued at $3.1 million when they were granted, down from $6.6 million in 2008.
His salary was trimmed to $1.3 million from $1.5 million in 2008, but he got a $950,000 bonus last year after no bonus the year before. His perks fell from $195,118 for a variety of items in 2008 to $43,503 for a contribution to a defined-benefit pension in 2009."
- Los Angeles Times provides several responses from the Republican side of the aisle to the student loan reform bill:
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that students would prefer getting such crucial financing from a banker they know rather than from anonymous bureaucrats. "I don't see how the students of this country are going to get the same service out of four call centers as they get from their individual banks," Grassley said.
- The Wall Street Journal chose the bill signing date to publish this editorial "The Ballad of Sallie Mae:"
- From trade group, America's Student Loan Providers:
- As for the changes that students will see, the Christian Science Monitor spoke to a few experts on the topic:
- On the student experience: "Students could see a “smoother origination process,” says Mr. Kantrowitz [Mark Kantrowitz of FinAid], because instead of shopping for a private lender, they’ll simply go to their school’s financial aid office. And because the government has contracted four of the largest lenders to service the loans, that part might go more smoothly, too. But financially, the bottom line will look the same for students – for now.
- On the Pell Grant increase: "But the substantial impact of the new funds will be in preserving recent increases to the Pell Grant from the Recovery Act. With
an increasing number of students qualifying for the grants because of
economic hardship in their families, "it would not have been possible
to maintain [Pell Grants] at the current level" without this
legislation, says Baum [Sandy Baum of the College Board]. “That money had to come from somewhere.”
- SLA analysis found that Pell Grants had risen 57% for the first two quarters of 2009-10 academic year
- The Chronicle of Higher Education focused on how the Administration's community college initiatives were scaled back in the final bill:
- Meanwhile three state non-profits hope to continue servicing federal student loans
- From Bismarck Tribune: "We anticipate that the impact to earnings are going to be minimal"
in the near term, Hardmeyer [President of Bank of North Dakota] said. Further on, however, the bank’s earnings from federal loans will
disappear as its current portfolio is paid off by borrowers.
Hardmeyer would like to replace some of the revenue it earns from loans by becoming a processor of student loans. While the government administers the business as issuer of student loans, it will hire private organizations to handle the work of mailing statements and collecting payments. Hardmeyer believes the bank’s nonprofit status will allow it to enter that business."
- From Salt Lake Tribune: "We [Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority] hope to be an effective part of the solution by being a local servicer..."The inference is you go where the best service is and the best service is locally provided," Feitz [UHEAA Executive Director] said. He vowed to fight to win a contract to service Utah loans.
- From Bismarck Tribune: "We anticipate that the impact to earnings are going to be minimal" in the near term, Hardmeyer [President of Bank of North Dakota] said. Further on, however, the bank’s earnings from federal loans will disappear as its current portfolio is paid off by borrowers.
- From Arkansas News: "The Arkansas Student Loan Authority, which has been funding student
loans for more than 30 years, will be reduced to servicing federally
funded loans under the bill. But even that function is uncertain, depending on how much of a fee
the government pays for the service, ASLA Executive Director Tony
Also to be considered, Williams said, is the cost of complying with federal contracting requirements for building security, information technology system security and ongoing reports — costs he said will have to be paid out of the loan servicing fee [let's hope they take care of security, more on that later]. “At this point, we do not know if we will be participating or not,” Williams said. “If the pricing is not favorable, we will continue to administer the $600 million in loans we have on our books. As they pay down, it would result in layoffs if we cannot participate in direct loan servicing.” The agency currently has 18 employees."