FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 22, 2018
CONTACT: Sarah Schultz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.734.6510
[Washington]- Today, Senator Schatz and a group of Senate and House Democrats introduced a comprehensive higher education bill to stop the growth of tuition and create pathways to debt-free higher education for millions of public college undergraduates. The Debt-Free College Act of 2018 is a bold step to prioritize affordable, quality public higher education for any in-state student. In addition to free tuition and fees, this bill would give Pell students at 2-year and 4-year public colleges financial aid to cover books, transportation, housing, and other costs that can make it impossible to complete a college education. It provides this financial support and reverses state disinvestment through partnerships between the federal government and state governments designed to provide debt-free college to as many students as possible. It would also include some policy goals outlined in Young Invincibles’ previous work, including dedicating some partnership funding to developing completion programs, allowing funds to be used toward early notification of eligibility for the program for secondary school students, and well as opening up access to aid for DREAMers and those with previous drug convictions.
“At a time when our higher education system is woefully out of date, the Debt-Free College Act directly responds to the needs of modern students,” said Reid Setzer, Government Affairs Director for Young Invincibles. “It recognizes that the cost of tuition is only a piece of the puzzle by boosting aid to cover the additional costs that can prevent a student from graduating, like books, housing, and transportation. This bill creates a real pathway to debt-free college for millions of students, targeting the aid first to those most in need and opening up access for those that have been unjustly left out of our system, like DREAMers. It also encourages states to reinvest in their higher education systems to take on the underlying cause of ballooning costs and debt, benefiting every student regardless of income. This bill is a win for students, for states, and for everyone who wants more people getting into and through college in our country.”