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The President Reforms Student Loans

Last week, the House and Senate approved a budget reconciliation bill that utterly overhauled the nation’s health care insurance system.

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There was something very interesting tucked into the bill that I could unabashedly proclaim a very good thing: an accompanying set of reforms to the quagmire of student lending. A good portion of you are probably familiar with the previous system, where private lenders extended to students loans that were guaranteed by the federal government. That arrangement was nothing short of lucrative for those lenders — earning the banking industry $70 billion, by some measures — and unsurprisingly, they were staunch opponents of the bill.

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Architect of the Pell Grant Dies at 90

Claiborne Pell, Senator of 36 year and best known for championing better education for the poor, died Thursday.

Pell served as a Democratic senator from Rhode Island from 1961 to 1997. He was the architect of a grant program that bears his name and has helped tens of millions of Americas attend college.

Vice President-elect Joe Biden, who served in the Senate with Pell, called him “one of our nation’s most important voices in foreign policy for over 30 years.”

“Claiborne Pell was a man of extraordinary integrity, grace and decency,” Biden said in a statement.

“Because of Senator Pell and the Pell Grant, the doors of college have been opened to millions of Americans — and will continue to be opened to millions more. That is a legacy that will live on for generations to come.”