Advocacy Call to Action: Ask Your Senators and Representatives to Support the Extension of the Perkins Loan Program Before the End of the Year

December 3, 2015 · by mlivolsi · Spark Notes

December 2, 2015

A note from: Wes Huffman (

With Congress set to wrap up legislative business as soon as next Friday (December 11), it is now crunch time for Perkins Loan advocacy. The November 20 letter from 535 schools and 53 organizations to Senate leaders made a strong statement, but it is up to Perkins Loan advocates to drive that statement home in individual offices.

To that end, attached with this message is an Excel spreadsheet containing contact information for education legislative aides in the House and Senate. The spreadsheet is separated into four worksheets: 1) Full Senate; 2) Full House; 3) Senate Appropriations Committee; and 4) House Appropriations Committee.

We have highlighted the appropriate Appropriations Committees staff as they will be particularly important for our advocacy efforts. The omnibus appropriations bill appears to be the best potential legislative vehicle at the present time for the Perkins Loan extension (though it is not the only option). Therefore, it is incredibly critical to reach out to the members of the Appropriations Committee as soon as possible. Beyond your initial outreach, please also consider asking other offices in your school, particularly the president’s or chancellor’s office, to send a message noting the importance of Perkins Loans at your institution.

A personalized letter is always best (we’ve also included a spreadsheet of Perkins Loans data for individual institutions for 2013-2014 for those so inclined to use this data). However, due to time constraints, if your campus or organization has already signed onto the ACE letter, please feel free to simply share it with the Congressional staff from your state. A sample email text is below:


I wanted to alert you to this letter, signed by 535 institutions of higher education and 53 organizations in support of Congress passing a one-year extension of the Perkins Loan Program before the end of this year. The House has previously passed letter suggests the omnibus appropriations bill as the best vehicle for Congress to complete work on this bill. I’m writing to ask for Sen./Rep. XXX’s support for including the Perkins Loan extension (H.R. 3594) in the omnibus appropriations package.

I wanted to let you know how important Perkins Loans are to XXXXX University and the XXX Perkins Loan recipients our institution serves. These loans are critical to ensuring students have continued access to higher education as Congress begins to prepare a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. With spring semester approaching and the “packaging season” for 2016-2017 just around the corner, it is critical that Congress pass an extension of the program before the end of the year.

Thank you for considering this request. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.


For those who would like to send a letter directly related to their state delegation (as well as those who were unable to have your institution sign the ACE letter), a template is also attached.

Please let us know if you have any questions and please share any feedback you receive with COHEAO. Thank you for your continued efforts in support of the Perkins Loan Program.

Perkins Extension Omnibus Template

Perkins Data by School and State–12.2.15

Perkins–Congressional Education Staff Contacts for Outreach


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