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S. 3635 (110th): Supporting Mentors, Supporting Our Youth Act of 2008


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 26, 2008 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3635

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 26 (legislative day, September 17), 2008

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To authorize a loan forgiveness program for students of institutions of higher education who volunteer to serve as mentors.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Supporting Mentors, Supporting Our Youth Act of 2008.

2.

Loan forgiveness for volunteer mentoring

Part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 428L the following:

428M.

Loan forgiveness for volunteer mentoring

(a)

Program Authorized

(1)

Loan forgiveness authorized

The Secretary shall forgive, in accordance with this section, the student loan obligation of a borrower, in the amount specified in subsection (c), who—

(A)

commits to volunteering as a mentor, as described in subsection (b), for a period of not less than 1 year;

(B)

is enrolled in an institution of higher education during the period the borrower is volunteering as a mentor; and

(C)

is not in default on a loan for which the borrower seeks forgiveness.

(2)

Method of loan forgiveness

To provide loan forgiveness under paragraph (1), the Secretary is authorized to carry out a program—

(A)

through the holder of the loan, to assume the obligation to repay a qualified loan amount for a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under this part (other than an excepted PLUS loan (as such term is defined in section 493C(a))); and

(B)

to cancel a qualified loan amount for a loan made under part D (other than such an excepted PLUS loan).

(3)

Regulations

The Secretary is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(b)

Volunteer Mentoring

For purposes of this section, an individual shall be treated as volunteering as a mentor if the individual—

(1)

commits to mentoring an at-risk child for a period of not less than 1 year; and

(2)

completes the minimum number of hours of volunteering as a mentor during such year, as determined by the Secretary by regulation.

(c)

Qualified Loan Amount

At the end of each year of volunteering as a mentor, as described in subsection (b), on or after the date of enactment of the Supporting Mentors, Supporting Our Youth Act of 2008, not to exceed 5 years, the Secretary shall forgive, for every hour of mentoring completed, $10 of the student loan obligation of a borrower that is outstanding after the completion of each such year of volunteering as a mentor, not to exceed $10,000 in the aggregate for any borrower.

(d)

Priority

The Secretary shall grant loan forgiveness under this section on a first-come, first-served basis, and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(e)

Evaluation and report

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Supporting Mentors, Supporting Our Youth Act of 2008, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall evaluate the effectiveness of the program authorized under this section, and shall submit to Congress a report on such evaluation. Such report shall include—

(1)

the number and percentage of borrowers who participate in the program under this section for multiple academic years; and

(2)

the number of borrowers who continue to volunteer as mentors after graduation from an institution of higher education.

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