We’ll be headed to Harrisburg tomorrow for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) Student Aid Advocacy Day. Please follow our live posts on Twitter (@CSC_Cubed)! We’re asking for more aid for middle income students – here’s our advocacy letter:
by Stephen Fortin
College costs have been steadily increasing since the 1970’s. As of late, the costs have continued to sore at an even faster pace. Accompanying the rise in college education costs is student loan debt. In fact, the recent 2012 grad owes over $29,000 in student loans. This is up from more than just over $9,000 in 1993. With this increasing burden on America’s younger generation it would seem logical to lower the federal interest rate on student loans.
Current students are paying about 4.66% interest on student loans, although there are many others who have interest rates which are locked in at above 9%. It seems obvious that higher education is vital to America’s economical future. Having a well educated public defines a society and an economy. Despite this however, lawmakers are rejecting proposals to lower federal student loan interest rates. In fact, government seems to believe banks should pay lower interest rates on federal loans than students. Banks pay a rock-bottom interest rate of only 0.75%. College costs are a huge issue plaguing the prospective college student, but it seems the government prefers to see banks prosper than young Americans invest in their own futures.
As many Americans struggle with paying back college debt the government seems to turn a cold shoulder. College costs and debt should never be a matter of politics; yet as many struggle to pay back debts, government struggles to see the problem in favoring banks over students.
Quandt, Katie. “College Has Gotten 12 times More Expensive in One Generation.” Mother Jones. N.p., 3 Sept. 2014. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/college-tuition-increased-1100-percent-since-1978>.
CSCubed is preparing for AICUP Student Lobby Day in Harrisburg on April 1. Our primary goal is to convince legislators to commit funding to a new PHEAA grant program that helps middle class students pay for college. Leading up to Lobby Day we’ll be providing more information as to why this new grant program is so important.
AICUP research provides the following information:
The middle class is hit hardest by student debt because they are not wealthy enough to pay for education out of pocket and not poor enough to qualify for programs like Pell Grants. Consequently the new middle income PHEAA grants that CSCubed supports will help a population that has the most student loan debt of any income category.
CSC3 is always looking for ways to cut the costs of college education and ensure that students do not end up with insurmountable debt in their post-graduation years. However, this proposal in the California legislature to have test-only colleges might not be one of our potential solutions. Check out the story in the Los Angeles Times.