STATEMENT OF SENATOR EDWARD M. KENNEDY ON THE RELEASE OF HELP COMMITTEE COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY REPORT
WASHINGTON, D.C—Today, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Health,Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following report, “Students andFamilies: Opening the Door to College for All.”
A college degree has become increasingly important in ensuring success in today’s globaleconomy, but the rising cost of college, combined with insufficient grant aid, is pricing manystudents out of an education. The Higher Education Access Act of 2007 and the HigherEducation Amendments of 2007 address the many aspects of this problem, immediatelyincreasing the number of Pell grant recipients and the amount of aid, simplifying the financialaid process for low-income students, restricting the amount monthly student loan payments to15% of their discretionary income, forgiving the debts of those who commit to public service,and reforming the student loan system so it works for students, not banks.
“College education has become more important that ever,” Senator Kennedy said. “Yet thecost of college has been rising faster than family incomes, and federal financial aid has failedto keep up. As a consequence, many students are being shut out of college altogether becauseof unmet need. Others have been forced to rely heavily on loans to finance their collegeeducation. Significant student loan debt is increasingly distorting important life decisions, bothprofessional and personal.”
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