As students on college campuses across the country ease back into school to begin classes this fall, Congress will vote on one of the most detrimental pieces of federal legislation to face students in recent history.

It’s called a budget reconciliation bill and it will cut up to $9 billion from student loan programs. This process is the way Congress can make changes and cuts to entitlement programs like Medicaid, student loans or pensions, in order to balance a budget. Congress is looking to gut federal loan programs, leaving many students today and students to come seriously disadvantaged in paying for school.

These cuts will have monumental effects on students. For example, a student who has about $20,000 in student loans could pay close to $6,000 extra if the budget reconciliation bill passes. If Congress passes it, students everywhere will feel the burden.

More than 1/3 of college students graduate with unmanageable loan debts. As the costs for taking out loans increases, that fraction of students will also increase. This will lead to a big increase in the time it takes a recent college graduate to fully begin participating in our economy. It will force college graduates out of being able to take jobs in the public sector. It will also limit who can take out mortgages to buy houses or properly invest in their retirement.

Instead of looking out for students, Congress is turning its back on the youth of America and the future of our country. If they succeed in passing the proposed student loan program cuts, students all over the U.S. will be denied access to higher education. It’s time for us to let Congress know we, as students, say, “No More!” by voting against the budget reconciliation bill.

On October 19, many students will be calling and faxing our elected representatives and telling them to vote down budget reconciliation. They will be outside the UCen with phones and call-in and fax-in scripts so that everyone can have a chance to help save financial aid and student loan programs.

To get involved or for more information, e-mail

Bill Shiebler
Campus Organizing Director