FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2013 Contact:
Director of Government Relations
Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
President and CEO
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) President and CEO, Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, today issued the following statement on House passage of the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013.
”I am disappointed in the House of Representative’s passage of the Senate-passed compromise on student loan interest rates. The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 is not a viable long-term solution to the growing student loan debt crisis. It is a short-sighted approach to a complex issue that will increase student financial debt in order to help pay down our national debt.
Given the current physician workforce shortage, Congress should embrace policies that help future physicians afford medical school. Already, the more than 21,000 students enrolled at osteopathic medical schools across the nation can expect to graduate with, on average, medical educational debt of $205,000. Setting graduate interest rates disproportionately higher than undergraduate interest rates and allowing them to vary according to the market rate, as this bill does, will only serve to create additional hardships for all medical students.
Although today’s House vote is certainly disappointing, I look forward to working with Congress to explore more reasonable long-term solutions to the student loan interest rate dilemma that allow both undergraduate and graduate students to better afford their education as it considers legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.”
The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 30 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 42 teaching locations in 28 states. In the 2013-14 academic year these colleges are educating over 23,000 future physicians – more than 20 percent of US medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 24 are private institutions.
AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOM’s mission is to promote excellence in osteopathic medical education, in research and in service, and to foster innovation and quality among osteopathic medical colleges to improve the health of the American public.