Obama signs student loan bill today

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President Barack Obama will today sign a bill at Northern Virginia Community College that removes private lenders from federal lending industry.

The law means the federal government will lend directly to students, rather than providing subsidies to private lenders. Reston-based Sallie Mae, the country’s largest student loan lender, says the move will force them to cut almost a third of its work force.

The bill was attached to the landmark health-care bill passed last week.

Supporters of the change say it will save taxpayers $68 billion over the next 10 years, which will be used to expand Pell grants for low-income students.

Opponents say it will hurt private lenders, causing many to lose their jobs during a recession and will limit students’ loan options.

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