I'm on my way to the Senate chamber right now for the debate on the Higher Education Bill, which addresses the critical gap in financial aid that prevents vast numbers of students from seeking a college education.
Cross posted at Committee for a Democratic Majority and Blue Mass Group
There's certainly a lot to discuss about last night's Senate debate and the larger strategy of how we end this war in Iraq, but there's something else happening today that you should know about.
I'm on my way to the Senate chamber right now for the debate on the Higher Education Bill, which addresses the critical gap in financial aid that prevents vast numbers of students from seeking a college education. The bill I'm supporting will increase opportunities for college by:
* Raising the maximum Pell Grant to $5,100 next year and to $5,400 by 2011.
* Increasing the income level that qualifies students for the maximum Pell Grant.
* Capping student loan payments at 15 percent of discretionary income.
* Providing student loan forgiveness for students who choose public service careers.
* Holding colleges more accountable for rising costs, by publicizing colleges whose increased costs are excessive.
* Giving students and parents objective data about the cost of college.
* Ending abuses by banks and other lenders in the student loan system.
Recent investigations have uncovered misbehavior by the lending industry, often in cahoots with colleges, at the expense of students. Federal law is intended to protect students by guaranteeing that loans must help students, not produce excessive profits for lenders.
Senate Democrats are addressing the student loan crisis -- but we need your help to make sure that the Higher Education Bill is enacted into law. We can't let Senate Republicans block action on this bill the same way they're blocking legislation to end the war.
College education is more important than ever. It’s time to throw the money-lenders out of the temple of higher education.
One way you can help is to illustrate this problem for the rest of our community. Leave your own student loan horror stories below, so that everyone can understand just how badly broken the current system is. When people know the facts, they’ll demand reform, and millions of students will benefit.
Thank you for your attention and support.