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[report整理] SENEWS-2010-04-15

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

Today we talk more about the costs of higher education in the United States. If you miss last week's report, you can find it at voaspecialenglish.com. Foreign students who need financial aid generally have to seek it from the school itself or their own government or employer.

If you follow the news, then you know that President Obama recently signed healthcare reform legislation. But one of the two bills he signed into law also make unrelated changes in the federal student loan program. These changes will require new loans to come directly from the Department of Education.

The department already makes these federally loans for American citizens and permanent legal residents.

But since 1993, it has also paid private lenders to provide them. Now as July 1st, all new loans will go through the direct loan program only. Officials say the new loan will save government 61 billion dollars over 10 years.

The plan is to use more than half of savings to provide more federal...grants to needy students. A few billion will also go to schools that traditionally serve minorities and to help two-year community colleges.

David is a senior vice president of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Everybody in higher education benefits from almost all these bills.

The new loan will reduce the most that borrowers must repay each year from 15 percent of their income to 10 percent. And the longest repayment period will be shorten from 25 year. Any remaining debt will be forgiven after 20 years or 10 if borrowers enter public service.

Supporters in higher education said the final bill did not go far enough. Republican opponents called it an unnecessary government take over of private industry. Another criticism was that the financial services industry could lose about 30,000 jobs.

The Department of Education reported last year that about two thirds of graduates from four-year colleges have student loan debt. The average was about 23,000 dollars.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report.
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