Congressional Democrats on March 18 trimmed their original student loan plans, reduced spending for community colleges, and eliminated early childhood money from a broad rewrite of a college aid bill piggybacked on to fast-track health care legislation.
The student loan measure would be the biggest change in college assistance programs since Congress created them in the 1960s, ending a private-lender program by having the government originate all loans to needy students.
But facing savings smaller than anticipated from the switch and a shortfall in Pell Grant money for low-income students, Democrats are proposing no increases in over the next two years and a modest increase over the five years that follow.
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