NORTHRIDGE : Treasurer Reintroduces College Loan Program Bill

State Treasurer Kathleen Brown announced the reintroduction Tuesday of legislation to create a college loan program for middle- and upper-income families.

The California Alternative Loan Program, if approved by the Legislature, would offer 15-year loans of up to $15,000 a year for undergraduates and $25,000 a year for graduate students at competitive interest rates, now estimated at 8% to 8.25%, Brown said during a news conference at Cal State Northridge.

About $75 million in loans could be available through the sale of tax-exempt bonds, she said. The loans could be used to pay for private or public schools. The program, which is being sponsored by state Sen. Patrick Johnston (D-Stockton), was vetoed last year by Gov. Pete Wilson. At the time, the governor said that expected increases in federal aid to students made the California program unnecessary. But California's college grant program was reduced by more than 15% this year and federal aid has also decreased because of budget troubles, Brown said.

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