Helping Our Students Achieve a Higher Education

I was the first in my family to graduate from college. That achievement did not come without assistance in the form of working multiple jobs, financial aid, student loans and the Veterans Education Assistance Program.

Middle-class families are struggling to send their children to college because it is unaffordable. It’s outrageous that so many students and their families have to take on crushing debt just to get the education they need to compete in our economy. What makes it worse is that they are paying higher interest rates than they should.

We must do everything in our power to make college more affordable including lowering interest rates for government backed loans, expanding the Pell Grant program, allowing students to refinance their loans, just like mortgages and car loans, and pushing universities to keep costs down if they want to continue to receive federal research dollars and other aid. I also believe we should push for two years of tuition-free community college to allow students to further their education or get the career technical skills they need to compete in today’s global economy.

My education changed my path in life, and I am working to make sure all students have that same chance. I introduced my Degrees Not Debt Act to restore the power of Pell Grants, ensure more families receive the full Pell Grant amount and incentivize states to invest in higher education. As student aid falls short and student debt continues to rise, we must stand up for students.