There’s no need to tell you that the deficit reduction issue is at the center of almost every debate today. But what most folks may not realize is that, included in these talks, is a plan to end the in-school interest subsidy on professional and graduate student loans.
On one hand, the subsidy provides taxpayer money to cover the interest on certain federal student loans while the borrowers are in college. Eliminating it would save as much as $8.2 billion over five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. On the other hand, its elimination would make the cost of an education even more expensive for students.
This isn’t the first time the subsidy has been threatened by budget cuts. Fortunately, the program has survived in the past. Things don’t look so promising this time around, though. Few can afford professional or graduate education these days without some form of financial assistance. Many graduates struggle to repay their student loans and other obligations, particularly in the early years following graduation. The thought of having mountains of debt may also deter students from achieving their goals and realizing their full potential through higher education.
Certainly, the elimination of this program may leave higher education out of reach for students of modest means. Ultimately, it may make the difference in whether someone chooses to become a veterinarian or not.
The AVMA needs your help. Tell your Member of Congress to continue including graduate and professional students in the federal Stafford subsidized student loan program.