[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[September 29, 1998]
[Pages 1704-1705]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on Senate Action on Higher Education Legislation
September 29, 1998

    I am delighted that the Senate today passed the Higher Education 
Amendments of 1998. This legislation marks an important step forward in 
my effort to help more Americans enter the doors of college. In today's 
global economy, what you earn depends on what you learn. This bill will 
make it easier for millions of Americans to get the higher education 
they need to succeed in the global economy. It also demonstrates how we 
can make progress on education policy when we choose bipartisan 
cooperation over division.
    By adopting the new low interest rate for student loans we proposed 
last winter, this bill

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will save American students and their families billions of dollars in 
interest payments. But this bill does much more to help all Americans go 
to college. It responds to the challenge I issued in the State of the 
Union to create a High Hopes initiative, where colleges reach down to 
middle school students in high-poverty areas to give them the support 
they need to be ready for higher education; incorporates our ideas on 
recruiting and training top-notch teachers for our public schools; 
builds on our efforts to deploy cutting-edge technology so that our 
students can learn anytime, anywhere; and modernizes the delivery of 
student aid by creating the Government's first-ever performance based 
organization, a recommendation made by the Vice President's National 
Performance Review.
    I look forward to signing this bill into law, and I urge Congress to 
provide the accompanying funding for these new critical initiatives so 
that they can work effectively to give America's students the quality 
education they deserve.