PHEAA Announces 2008 KeystoneBEST Loan Program Benefits

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Pennsylvania students will continue to realize up-front savings.

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance

Borrowers who use our KeystoneBEST Loan Program will incur less out-of-pocket expense and have more money on-hand to help pay for college costs like tuition and books.

PHEAA announced today that it will continue to subsidize the federal government’s mandatory one percent default fee for Pennsylvania students and parents on Stafford, PLUS for Parents, and PLUS for Graduate Students in the KeystoneBEST Loan Program whose loan applications have terms beginning on or after July 1, 2008.

Subsidizing the one percent default fee will generate immediate up-front savings for Pennsylvania residents, no matter where they attend school, or out-of-state students who attend a Pennsylvania postsecondary educational institution and borrow through PHEAA’s KeystoneBEST Loan Program for 2008.

PHEAA began waiving the default fee, which was formerly known as the federal guaranty fee or insurance premium, in 1996 when it initiated its industry-leading Zero Guaranty Fee. To date, this innovative feature has saved student loan borrowers across the nation almost $245 million in up-front costs.

“By eliminating this up-front fee, we are helping to keep the cost of borrowing for college down,” notes William Adolph, Jr., Chairman of the PHEAA Board. “Borrowers who use our KeystoneBEST Loan Program will incur less out-of-pocket expense and have more money on-hand to help pay for college costs like tuition and books.”

Each of PHEAA’s participating KeystoneBEST lenders will make individual decisions to subsidize other up-front fees, such as the one percent origination fee. Additionally, individual lenders participating in the KeystoneBEST Program may offer other benefits such as additional savings during repayment. The competition among participating lenders will further benefit borrowers who have a choice in selecting the best participating KeystoneBEST lender for their circumstances.

Regardless of which lender borrowers choose, they will benefit from a single point of contact for industry-leading customer service via telephone and email for the life of their loan(s). Borrowers also have a quick and easy, web-based application process complete with eSignature capabilities at Students and families can also view a list of participating KeystoneBEST lenders at

In order to support its public service mission over the last 44 years, PHEAA has evolved into the nation’s leading nonprofit student aid organization. The Agency devotes its energy, resources and imagination to developing innovative ways to ease the financial burden of higher education for Pennsylvania’s students, families and taxpayers.

PHEAA’s mission is powered by American Education Services (AES), its commercial business enterprise. AES is among the nation’s leading providers of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, and financial aid processing systems. As a nonprofit organization, PHEAA channels its earnings to help supplement the State Grant Program, fund free scholarships and loan forgiveness, develop award-winning online planning tools and provide low-cost student loans – all at no cost to taxpayers.

PHEAA has provided about $1 billion from its business earnings over the last ten years to help support Pennsylvania students and families. For more information, visit


Keith New, 717-720-2509
knew @

Mike Reiber, 717-720-2509
mreiber @

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