News Releases

Murray Votes for Washington State Students and Families, Against Subsidies for Big Banks

Mar 25 2010

Bill invests additional $523 million to assist students and families in Washington state

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray voted for a bill that makes significant investments in higher education support for families in Washington state. The bill invests $523 million over 10 years to increase Pell Grants for Washington state students and allow them more direct access to student loans. It creates $61 billion in savings from changes to the student loan program that eliminate wasteful government subsidies to big banks in the student loan business. The bill passed the Senate today by a vote of 56-43.

“I was proud to put Washington state’s students and families ahead of big banks because I know how important Pell Grants and student loans are for students who dream of a college education.” Said Senator Patty Murray. “Without the help of Pell Grants and student loans, my six siblings and I would never have been able to go to college.”

This bill increases the maximum Pell Grants scholarships available to $5,550 in 2010 and $5,975 by 2017.  Also, all new federal student loans will be originated through the Direct Loan program instead of through the federally?guaranteed student loan program beginning in July 2010.  The Direct Loan program is a more reliable lender for students and more cost?effective for taxpayers.

Washington state benefits:

  • $464 million in additional Pell Grant funding for Washington state over 10 years.
  • Washington state minority serving institutions would receive an increase in funds of nearly $50 million.
  • This bill would provide an additional $10 million in funding for Washington state College Access Challenge Grants.
  • Monthly student loan payments will be more manageable for low- and middle-income borrowers.  Monthly payments will be capped at 10% of a borrower’s salary.