In 2009-10, the State of New York Mortgage Agency would issue $350 million in tax-free bonds to finance the new fixed rate loans. NYHELPS would also offer a variable rate option, and would set aside $50 million to address student defaults, so their interest rates remain low.
The burden of paying for college has increased for all families, but substantially more for low- and middle-income families, according to a report by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, a nonpartisan organization that promotes access to higher education.
Nationally, families in the lowest-income group — the bottom 20 percent of the population — pay 55 percent of their income to attend public four-year colleges and universities, even after accounting for all student financial aid, according to the report. In 2000 that number was 39 percent.
The wealthiest families in the top 20 percent of the population pay 9 percent of their income — up from 7 percent in 2000 — toward higher education.