4.5% of borrowers in 2003 failed to repay their student loans, down from 5.2% in 2002.
Higher education groups pan Senate proposal to use savings from Higher Ed Act to pay for Katrina recovery.
Republican plan to offset Katrina spending suggests ending federal backing of grad student loans, NEH and AmeriCorps.
In 1643, Harvard University received a gift of 100 pounds to support the education of a student who was "pious" but poor. And so American student aid was born well before the United States.
Education committee's bill to cut deficit and extend Higher Ed Act would provide extra $2.5 billion to new grant programs.
GAO study, which Republicans hoped would condemn direct lending program, doesn't.
Amid latest steps in this year's complex budget battle, college leaders go on the offensive.
Republican leaders lack votes, for now, on budget package that would slash $14.3 billion from lenders and students.
Lobbyists object to Congressional proposal to use Pell Grant surplus for non-college programs.
Policy makers and researchers debate whether a $20,000 student loan burden is "unmanageable."
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