Two Youngest Senators Seek To Lower College Costs
Career College Central summary:
The two youngest members of the U.S. Senate are co-sponsoring legislation aimed at lowering college costs by withholding federal funds from schools that fail to meet new national affordability and quality standards — a proposal likely to draw strong opposition from higher education institutions. Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Brian Schatz of Hawaii plan to submit the legislation this week. Both are still paying off their college loans.
Murphy, 40, and Schatz, 41, say skyrocketing tuition has put higher education out of reach for many Americans, with college costs having tripled over the past 30 years. And they say too many people are leaving college with high loan debt.
The average cost of tuition, fees and room and board at a four-year public college or university for in-state students is about $18,400 a year, according to the College Board, a not-for-profit membership group that promotes college access and owns the SAT exam. The same average cost at a private school is about $40,900 a year.
Meanwhile, about 60 percent of students who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2011-12 graduated with debt, borrowing an average of $26,500, the College Board reported in October. Many specifics of the Murphy-Schatz bill still need to be worked out, including the new affordability and quality standards. The legislation would create a commission of students, education experts and others to recommend minimum standards for colleges to meet to remain eligible for federal funding for student aid, including Pell grants and Stafford loans.
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