Section 5C. The authority is hereby authorized to develop and establish a comprehensive state-supported supplemental education loan program. Such program shall consist of medium and long-range fixed rate and variable rate loan programs, programs structured to operate as a line of credit, and other programs and options as the authority may determine to be useful and feasible. Such programs shall be at effective rates of interest and other terms, to the extent feasible and to the extent funds are appropriated by the commonwealth therefor, more attractive than prevailing rates and more attractive than other terms available from conventional supplemental education lenders.
The authority's program shall be developed and operated in conjunction with participating institutions of higher education and shall be designed to assist such institutions in attracting and retaining students. Such program shall be designed so as to maximize the amount of funds available for loans by leveraging amounts appropriated by the commonwealth with private sector financing and by operating in conjunction with such private activity tax-exempt bond cap as may be allocated by the commonwealth. Such program shall include, to the maximum extent feasible and subject to the appropriation of funds by the commonwealth, loans available on affordable terms to families or individuals who, because of a high debt-to-income ratio, may otherwise be ineligible for credit-based supplemental education loans.
The authority shall design such comprehensive program, and make the public aware of it, in such manner as to provide assistance to as many qualified students and to as many institutions of higher education as possible. Funds appropriated by the commonwealth to the authority for the purpose of this section shall be applied by the authority solely to the reasonable and necessary development costs of its programs and to the funding of reasonable and necessary reserves and other security arrangements for its programs, all, to the extent feasible, in such manner as to develop over time a self-replenishing permanent source of education loan funding.