New legislation makes college more affordable

New legislation that will increase scholarship amounts and lower interest rates for college students could make education more affordable for Bronx families.

Tuition continues to increase at colleges throughout the area. School officials at Mercy College say that many of their students come from low- and middle-income families and rely on financial aid for the $13,000 tuition.

Help is on the way, thanks to Pell Grants. Due to the new legislation, the maximum Pell Grant scholarship will increase to $5,400 by 2012.

The legislation will also cut interest rates in half on need-based student loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent over the next four years.

?Next year it goes from 6.8 to 6,? Joseph Trentacoste, who works with student financial services, says. ?Not a lot, but almost a whole percentage point and it does add up over time.?

College graduates who go into vital public service jobs may see loan forgiveness after 10 years of loan payment. Undergraduates who teach in the nation?s public schools could also get tuition assistance.

The legislation will also prevent students from facing unmanageable federal student debt. Borrowers with economic hardship could have their loans forgiven after 25 years.

Trentacoste says that the legislation is a step in the right direction. He says it may help people who are on the fence about pursuing a college education make a decision because more financial aid will be available for them.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."