A complicated loan system has roiled students for years — and in his latest higher education proposal, President Barack Obama says he's hoping to simplify the process of taking out and repaying loans.
Obama is touting the plan as a "Student Aid Bill of Rights," and it includes simplifying the student loan system, as well as lowering the price and shortening the longevity of student loans.
“It says that every student deserves access to a quality, affordable education,” Obama said in remarks on Saturday.
The executive action would require students with loans to pay to 10 percent of their future income annually — a decrease from the current rate, which is 15 percent. Obama's proposal would also shorten the length of time during which students have to make loan payments. He'd like to forgive any remaining debt after 20 years, or 10 years for students working in the public sector.
Kristin Anthony, assistant director of federal direct loan programs at UNC, said she supports Obama's effort to ease the loan burden.
“(Obama is) trying to get it to a point where it would be much easier for students once they graduate,” she said. “They still have too many avenues by which students are finding out more information about loans. Once they narrow that even further, I think that they’ll have a lot of success with what he’s suggesting."
Natalia Abrams, executive director of the Student Debt Crisis, agrees the Obama administration made a good decision.
“I think this is just a framework, that we’re going to see more of this in the next few months and the year to come,” she said. “We’re also seeing this as a push to legislators to take action."
“I think we need to go further, but I think that this is a step in the right direction."