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Honorable Congressman/Congresswoman, I am a US Citizen and resident of the state of Illinois. I am writing you with an urgent request. U.S.

Citizens and medical students at the Universidad Autnoma de Guadalajara (UAG), one of the oldest and most respected institutions in Mexico, have received news that they would not be receiving the student loans they had been promised by the federal government through the direct loan program. Students have been anxiously waiting on these loans for more than four weeks; loans for which they had already been approved. According to the US Department of Education, the school of medicine at UAG is no longer qualified to receive direct loan funding even though the legislation passed in 2010 clearly allows for schools with clinical rotations in place prior to 1992 and who have recognized rotations in place now to be eligible for funds and exempt from the 75% USMLE passrate requirement (as outlined under 34 CFR 600.55(d)(1)(iv) . "(f) Citizenship and USMLE pass rate percentages. (1) (i) (A) During the calendar year preceding the year for which any of the school's students seeks an title IV, HEA program loan, at least 60 percent of those enrolled as fulltime regular students in the school and at least 60 percent of the school's most recent graduating class must have been persons who did not meet the citizenship and residency criteria contained in section 484(a)(5) of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1091(a)(5); or (B) The school must have had a clinical training program approved by a State prior to January 1, 2008, and must continue to operate a clinical training program in at least one state that approves the program; and (ii) Except as provided in paragraph (f)(4) of this section, for a foreign graduate medical school outside of Canada, for Step 1, Step 2CS, and Step 2CK, or the successor examinations, of the USMLE administered by the ECFMG, at least 75 percent of the school's students and graduates who took that step/test of the examination in the year preceding the year for which any of the school's students seeks a title IV, HEA program loan must have received a passing score on that step/test and are taking the step/test for the first time; or (2) (i) The school must have had a clinical training program approved by a state as of January 1, 1992; and (ii) The school must continue to operate a clinical training program in at least one state that approves the program."

Based on this current legislation passed in 2010, UAG should be exempt from section 1, as they qualify under section 2. In fact, UAG has maintained continuous rotations in Puerto Rico as well as having rotations in many states including AZ, and NJ; and NY dating back prior to 1992. Although the school qualifies for this exemption they have already instituted improvements to the curriculum that will substantially improve student performance, but these improvement will not be evident until the school can receive the USMLE scores from 2014 in April of 2015. More than 200 students are currently in very difficult financial straits in Mexico. All of them are U.S. citizens who, prior to coming and beginning the medical program checked to verify the school's eligibility to distribute direct loans at the Federal Student Aid web site of the U.S. Department of Educating. Not only was the school listed, but funds were approved and sent to the school. Many students received their funds for the first semester and are now waiting on the second half of these funds in order to pay basic living expenses. Those students gave up nearly everything they had to go to Mexico to study medicine in the belief that the US healthcare system needs bilingual/bicultural, Spanish speaking primary care physicians. Additionally, many students have spouses and children who also depend on these funds. They all have uprooted their lives dramatically in order to study medicine there. The AUG international medical program is unique in the world, and they need your help to aid our American brothers and sisters currently enroll in the program, and that currently face the probability of not being able to complete their medical education. They ask for your support, since currently congress has decided to reopen the case, and it is now solely up to congress and the courts to decide if they would receive federal loans. The school needs at least two years to allow these curriculum changes to take effect. The situation is quite urgent, as many students are completely without resources and unable to meet basic needs, such as rent and food. The U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara has been helping the school reach out to the students that currently need housing and food. Up to a week ago there were still students living in their cars, and up to seven students living in one apartment. They are US citizens currently in Mexico and are most urgently requesting your assistance. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, I look forward for your support on this urgent matter, For more information you may contact John Suchland MS MPH (c) MD (c) DHSc UAG Student AMSA Legislative Rep, UAG chapter 6193700956