Schatz Reintroduces Debt-Free College Act

March 6, 2019, 8:16 AM HST · Updated March 6, 8:16 AM
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US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaiʻi today joined colleague US Representative Mark Pocan of Wisconsin in reintroducing the Debt-Free College Act.

The legislation would create a partnership between the federal government and states to make debt-free college a reality for students within five years.

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According to Sen. Schatz, the cost of a college education has increased 300% in inflation-adjusted dollars over the past 30 years.  “Beyond tuition and fees, the total cost of attendance – room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses – puts higher education out of reach for many Americans. For others, soaring college costs force them to take on debt to cover their financial need,” according to information released by Sen. Schatz.

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The Debt-Free College Act aims to create a state-federal partnership in which states would receive a one-to-one federal match to state higher education appropriations, in exchange for a commitment to help students pay for the full cost of attendance (including tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses) without having to take on debt.

According to Sen. Schatz, the partnership provides incentives to states to increase higher education appropriations and drive down the rising costs leading to student debt.

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