Going to college became more affordable this month for millions of lower-income students, thanks to changes to two major financial aid programs.

The revisions, spurred by a federal law called the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, include higher maximum amounts for federal grants as well as lower interest rates on some newly written government-guaranteed loans.

"This is a big, big improvement in the status of the lowest-income students," Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) said at a news conference late last month.

At the same news conference, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called the legislation "an investment in American students" that "couldn't have come at a better time."

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