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Statement on Signing a Bill Permitting Continuation of the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.

August 19, 1972

I HAVE today signed S.J. Res. 260, which amends the Higher Education Act amendments of 1972. In signing S.J. Res. 260, I want to express my thanks to the Congress for responding so promptly to an urgent problem. If the Congress had not responded promptly---enacting this legislation 48 hours after I requested it--thousands of deserving young people, ready to return to college or other post-secondary schools, might have been denied the loans they need for the coming school year.

The effect of this new legislation will be to delay the implementation of new regulations until March 1, 1973. This delay will permit lending and educational institutions to conduct the program this fall under ground rules they all understand--regulations that were in effect prior to June 30, 1972. The task now is to make certain that the continuing promise of a truly fine program is fulfilled.

Since its inception in 1965, this program has been an overwhelming success--more of a success than even the creators of the program foresaw. Since that time, some 5 million loans totaling more than $4.6 billion have been made to more than 3 million young men and women seeking to further their education. In fiscal year 1972 alone, more than a million applicants borrowed $1.3 billion.

Those educational and financial institutions which made this record possible deserve the gratitude of the American people for their past achievements. I call upon all concerned to bend every effort to make up for lost time during this lending season-time lost as a result of unintended ambiguities in the 1972 amendments to the law. I especially urge everyone involved in the program to reestablish contact with student applicants who have been turned down because of the uncertainty which has unfortunately arisen and to process pending applications as rapidly as possible.

Note: As enacted, S.J. Res. 260 is Public Law 92-391 (86 Stat. 563).

Richard Nixon, Statement on Signing a Bill Permitting Continuation of the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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