"Every month, in addition to writing a check for my mortgage and utilities, I write out a payment on my student loans. Although I graduated with a master’s degree more than ten years ago, I still owe over $40,000 in student loans. And, I am not alone," Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) writes for The Hill.
"National student loan debt has surpassed $1.4 trillion, with the average 2016 graduate owing over $37,000 in student loan debt. While graduating from college is a better investment than ever, student loan debt can prevent graduates from buying a house, saving for their children’s own education, or preparing for retirement. It can pose a serious burden that makes some prospective students question if higher education is worthwhile.
Like many Americans, I believe that making higher education more affordable and accessible should be among our top priorities, which is why I recently re-launched the Congressional Higher Education Caucus. My goal is for the Higher Education Caucus to serve as an informal, bipartisan forum for interested Members of Congress to better address the challenges facing our higher education system. America’s system of higher education is the best in the world, but faces unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Far more needs to be done to ensure that it is affordable and accessible to all students, adequately prepares them for the modern workforce, and enables them to fully contribute to our economic prosperity.
Instead of addressing these problems, last week the House passed a tax plan that would fail American students and take our colleges and universities backwards. If our goal is to make a college degree more affordable and accessible, then increasing the cost of attending college by billions of dollars is simply not the answer.
In 2015, over 12 million Americans took the student loan interest deduction. But the tax plan not only eliminated this valuable benefit, but also scaled back or eliminated a host of other provisions that are used to pay for or reduce tuition, provide support to undergraduates, graduate students, and lifetime learners, and allow us to invest in our system of higher education as a whole."
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Publication Date: 11/22/2017