Franken calls for standardized student aid formsby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — U.S. Sen. Al Franken wants colleges and universities to provide more understandable information when they provide aid to students.
Franken spoke at a press conference at the state Capitol today, the traditional day for students to decide where they'll attend college in the fall.
He said the federal government is developing a model for telling students what kind of financial help they're getting, whether grants or loans. The letters now vary by school and they can be confusing and difficult to sort through, Franken said. He wants a single mandatory standard.
"What it is, is pretty simply a uniform aid form, or letter, so that students, when they get their letters, can compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, know exactly what they're getting," Franken said.
Franken said he is also pushing to prevent a hike in student loan interest rates when a federal subsidy expires this summer. Critics have said cheap loans help drive up the cost of college educations.
The federal government decided to buy down interest rates back in 2007, Franken said.
"Nobody had any idea that you'd be able to get a mortgage for less than 3.4 percent," he said. "Those of who have been looking at this for several months now know that this is not fair to double the interest rates when interest rates between 2007 and 2012 have gone down dramatically."