ASBMB endorses the Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now (LOAN) Act

Nov. 4, 2022

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology endorses the Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now (LOAN) Act introduced in the U.S House of Representatives on Sept. 15 by Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Florida. If it becomes law, it would help decrease higher education expenses for current and future borrowers.

According to the College Board, the cost of college has tripled over the past four decades. About 45 million Americans collectively owe $1.7 trillion in student loans, preventing many from purchasing homes, starting families and saving for retirement. Student loan debt disproportionally burdens women and people of color.

This legislation would double the maximum Pell grant award over five years to $13,000, speed up and permanently broaden the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, expand access to subsidized loans, eliminate capitalization of interest, and cap interest rates on new loans at 5%.

Additionally, the bill would allow undocumented students who are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to finally qualify for federal student loans and would allow graduate and professional students to use any remaining Pell eligibility from their undergraduate pursuits during their advanced studies.

The ASBMB supports this legislation because it will expand access to higher education, in particular for women and people of color, and make it easier for people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds to pursue careers in the biomedical sciences. The ASBMB is committed to increasing the number of historically excluded scientists in the fields of biochemistry and molecular and supporting them as they navigate their education and career.