On May 10, 2007, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Student Loan Sunshine Act, H.R.890, to ban gifts and payments by student loan companies to universities. Representative George Miller (D-California), who leads the House education committee, joined Representative Howard McKeon (R-California) in co-drafting the legislation, exhibiting a bipartisan determination to get the $85 billion industry cleaned up.
Passage of the bill, by a vote of 414 to 3, followed recent revelations that lenders paid university financial aid officials money contingent on student loan volume, gave gifts to the financial aid administrators whom students rely on to recommend lenders, and hired financial aid officials as paid consultants.
The Sunshine Act:
1. Requires institutions and lenders to adopt strict codes of conduct that adhere to specific guidelines.
2. Ensures that students have access to all lenders of their choice, including those not on the preferred lender lists.