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Sen. Murray Pushes to Modernize Higher Education System

Washington, D.C. – Earlier today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, laid out her vision for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in an address to the Center for American Progress. This address builds on a speech given by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the HELP Committee, earlier this month on the same topic, adding a new layer to the conversation around HEA reauthorization.

In her remarks, Sen. Murray laid out her priorities for HEA reauthorization: affordability, accountability, access, and campus safety. She made it clear that Congress must work to address the $1.5 trillion student loan crisis and ensure today’s students don’t fall even further behind previous generations financially, while also finding ways to better serve the students of today and tomorrow.

In response to Sen. Murray’s speech, Allie Aguilera, Policy and Government Affairs Manager for Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:

“America’s student body has changed in the decade since the Higher Education Act was last authorized. The HEA must meet the needs of this new, more diverse generation of students whose experiences are more varied than ever. We are thrilled to hear Senator Murray’s commitment to looking beyond superficial fixes and finding bold solutions to modernize the system and truly serve all of today’s students.

Sen. Murray laid out a clear and ambitious plan for a student-centered HEA reauthorization. Today’s students need investments in affordability through state-federal partnerships, programs that recognize the unique needs of each individual student, accountability for credentials that lead to quality jobs, and a repayment system that is truly borrower-friendly. Today, Sen. Murray laid out a vision that encompasses all those challenges and offers real, practical solutions to solve them.

We agree with Sen. Murray: The time for talk is over. We need to take real action towards a higher education system that better serves every student, regardless of their income, race, or any other factor. With Sen. Alexander also promising to prioritize HEA reauthorization by the end of the year, now is the time to make real progress towards ensuring every student can get a quality, affordable higher education.”