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Nation in Brief / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Bush signs student aid bill into law

September 28, 2007|From Times Wire Services

President Bush signed legislation designed to make college more affordable for students from poor and middle-class families, swallowing his objections to a bill that enjoyed veto-proof majorities in Congress.

The legislation boosts the maximum Pell grant, which goes to the poorest college students, to $5,400 a year by 2012, from $4,310 a year now. It also halves the interest rates on federally backed student loans, to 3.4%, over the next four years.

The increase in financial aid is designed to come from cuts in subsidies that the government provides to banks, totaling about $20 billion. Bush had threatened to veto the bill as what he termed an expensive expansion of federal programs.

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