Last week, I wrote about the importance of the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007 and similar college cost legislation that the Senate is considering. Today, I have a great update: on Wednesday, the House voted on and passed the College Cost Reduction Act, 273-149.
"This bill is a remarkable step forward in our efforts to help every qualified student go to college," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the education and labor committee and author of the legislation, in a statement. "With this bill, we are saying that no one should be denied the opportunity to go to college simply because of the price."
Senator Ted Kennedy, of Massachusetts, said: "The time to put the needs of students ahead of the profits of the banks is long overdue. I look forward to passage of similar legislation in the Senate this month." I agree! It is time to put students' needs ahead of the banks' needs. We are the future of America!
If the Senate also passes their legislation this month, the next step will be a conference committee between the House and the Senate to discuss creating a combined bill out of the two.
So what does the College Cost Reduction Act do? It will increase federal loan limits so fewer students have to resort to private loans. It will guarantee that no one has to pay more than 15% of their income in loan repayments at a time. It will raise the amount of money you can receive in Pell Grants from the government, and it will allow more loan forgiveness for graduates who have financial hardship, among other things.
The bad news (yes, sadly there is bad news with this)? President Bush has threatened to veto the bill. Why? Who knows. What I do know is that regardless of your political affiliation or whether or not you support the president, this is an issue that affects every student who has ever received a grant, scholarship, or loan. The average college graduate today has over $20,000 in loans and is struggling to pay them off. So it's in our best interest that this legislation passes – to protect our economic futures!
Read the article about the bill here. More updates on this important issue next week!