Senate Republicans unveil student loan crisis proposal
'Student loan repayment should not fall on the backs of hardworking American taxpayers, and students should not be getting federal loans for degrees that don’t result in better-paying jobs.'
Awaiting a Supreme Court ruling on Biden's student loan forgiveness program, Republicans have promoted a package of five bills to reduce student debt.
Consisting of five bills overall, the “Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act“ confronts what Republicans believe are the core factors contributing to the national student debt crisis. Senator Bill Cassidy introduced the package, alongside Senators Chuck Grassley, Tim Scott, John Cornyn, and Tommy Tuberville.
Two of the five Republican bills comprising the plan aim at advancing transparency regarding tuition estimates and college financial outcomes. The additional three pieces of legislation address federal student loans more specifically and attempt to simplify the potential repayment options for borrowers.
The proposed legislation would also create borrowing caps for student loans, which Republicans argue would discourage universities from increasing tuition rates.
Borrowers are awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 in debt. Cassidy criticized Biden’s proposal, claiming the Republican alternative would more effectively confront the factors contributing to the student debt crisis.
Senator Grassley noted that nearly 90% of colleges understate their total costs, and two-thirds fail to differentiate between loans and grants, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The “Understanding True Cost of College Act” aims to significantly decrease these figures by providing a more clear and concise award letter to accepted students.
The “College Transparency Act” goes even further to require universities to provide a universal “user-friendly” financial aid offer form for students and parents to more accurately compare costs between multiple institutions.
“Student loan repayment should not fall on the backs of hardworking American taxpayers, and students should not be getting federal loans for degrees that don’t result in better-paying jobs,” Senator Cornyn stated.
The bills in the Republican package would implement new policies that lawmakers hope would aid students in making better decisions before taking out loans. This includes simplified loan repayment paths and career-based salary estimates to effectively plan ahead.
Senator Tuberville’s “GOAL Act” would terminate graduate student PLUS loans that currently have no borrowing limit. Republicans claim that this measure “puts downward pressure on rising tuition costs.”
Earlier this June, Campus Reform reported on a related bill out of the Ohio State House of Representatives designed to increase transparency on the expected costs of higher education. This legislation was successfully passed by a vote of 88-1 on May 24.
Campus Reform has contacted all relevant parties for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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