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College Affordability Resources

NEA Student Program
60,000 student members are working on more than 900 campuses in all 50 states to become tomorrow's educators.They're fostering leadership, providing networking opportunities, seeking to make higher education more affordable.

Students Rally for College Affordability
Marchers and participants from Illinois State University and South Carolina State University in this video demonstrate their concerns about the costs of higher education and the resulting debt. Activities like this November 2007 event have already forced Congress to pass the College Cost Reduction and Access Act which: Increases the maximum Pell Grant award, reduces interest rates on subsidized student loans, and creates new TEACH grants.

For Many, College Still Out of Reach
The cost of college is far beyond too many families -- and soaring ever higher, according to the Campaign for America's Future. But the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, signed into law late last year, should help some by expanding federal assistance.

Financial Management and Loan Debt Resources

5 Steps to Kick Student Debt (PDF)
Did you know that more than 33 million Americans qualify for Income Driven Repayment plans? Download 5 Steps to Kick Student Debt to learn more!

Deal with Your Debt, Invest in Your Future
Credit card debt, outstanding schools loans, a mortgage, car note, daycare expenses, and other bills causing you stress? You’re not alone. Many NEA members need help to gain control of their finances and find ways to reduce debt. That's why NEA Member Benefits and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling have teamed up to provide financial literacy and debt management education to NEA members and their families.

Income-Based Repayment
A new program starting July 1, 2009 will take a person's income-to-debt ratio into account. That means a borrower may never have to pay more than 15 percent of his or her discretionary annual income towards student loan debt. This is part of passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness 
Borrowers who work in public service positions -- including teachers -- are eligible to have their federal loans forgiven after ten years of qualifying payments. Even if your loans are bank-based (like those from Sallie Mae) you can look into moving them into a federal direct consolidation loan.

Taxpayer-Teacher Protection Act
Highly-qualified math, science, and special education teachers are eligible for up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness after teaching five years in a low-income school. It is available to new borrowers (teachers with no outstanding loan balances prior to October 1, 1998, who borrow eligible loans prior to October 1, 2005). Call the Federal Student Aid Customer Service hotline at 1-800-433-7327 for information on the program and to find out if you qualify.

Compare College Loan Rates
This chart shows how individual states' student loan rates stack up with one another.

Project on Student Debt
You'll find a list of financial aid terms and their definitions, ways to compare student loan discounts, and questions to ask before you sign. Additionally, their state-by-state map shows the average debt of graduating seniors at four-year colleges and the percentage of graduates with debt in 2006.

College Board Annual Report on Trends in College Tuition and Financial Aid, 2007
Federal student aid to undergraduates showed slow growth, while published tuition prices continued to increase.