WASHINGTON - Congress is expected to take a final vote later this week on a plan that would introduce a system of direct student loans and require Congress to evaluate the program in four years before it could eliminate the current system and the need for tax-exempt student loan bonds.

The final version of the bill, agreed to by House and Senate conferees late last week, is closer to the Senate's version. It would permit direct loans made by colleges to represent up to 5% of total student loan volume in the first year after enactment, 40% in the second, 50% in the third and fourth years, and 60% in the fifth.

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