Watt, JCSU President Rip Federal Loan Policy | Roland Martin Reports

Watt, JCSU President Rip Federal Loan Policy

Source: Charlotte Observer

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mel Watt on Monday criticized the Obama administration’s failure to change a student loan policy that he said disproportionately hurts minority students.

It was an unusual position for Watt, normally a staunch ally of President Barack Obama, who nominated him in May to be head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

But Watt expressed frustration with what he called “inertia” at the U.S. Department of Education. He spoke at a news conference at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was joined by school President Ron Carter.

At issue is the 2011 change to the Parent PLUS Loan program. The changes expanded the criteria for measuring an applicant’s family credit history.

At the news conference, Carter said only 27 percent of applicants at historically black colleges were approved for a PLUS loan last year. In the 2013-2014 academic year, the figure has fallen to 7 percent.

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