University of California President Janet Napolitano today (June 5) applauded the leadership of U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer on student financial aid issues, and urged them to work with their congressional colleagues to quickly pass legislation that would allow eligible students to refinance their educational loans.

In a letter to the senators, Napolitano said:

“I strongly urge the Senate to pass the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act which includes important student-consumer protections, strengthens private lender accountability, and outlines a broad outreach and communications plan for informing borrowers about their eligibility to refinance their educational loans.  

“Higher education should be a pathway to opportunity not to lifelong debt. I urge Congress to work quickly to enact the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act to help address the student debt crisis that threatens our economy.

“With student debt rising across the country, congressional action is needed now to help low and middle-income families manage the cost of attending and graduating from college. Fortunately, only about half of the students at the University of California (UC) borrow student loans, and of those students, their debt at graduation is well below the national average. UC is continually striving, however, to support and implement policies that will help borrowers at UC the university, and across the country, keep student loan debt manageable.”