|Drum Major Institute 2007 House Scorecard description
In today’s world, a college education is i … In today’s world, a college education is increasingly necessary to attain a middle-class standard of living. A college-educated workforce is also critical to the nation’s economic strength. Yet the cost of college, and the amount of debt students must take on to afford it, is rising rapidly. The value of federal student aid programs, such as Pell Grants, has failed to keep pace with rising college costs, while many states have reduced their support for public universities. As a result, nearly two thirds of students at four-year colleges must now borrow to finance their college education, and the typical student borrower now graduates with nearly $20,000 in debt—and some with much more. The prospect of taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt deters some students, especially those from lower-income families, from pursuing college entirely. Meanwhile, the need to pay off costly student loans makes it impractical for many graduates to pursue public service careers in essential fields such as teaching or social work. For many young people, the burden of student loan debt makes it difficult to make ends meet on a daily basis, much less support a family or begin to save for retirement. Through its wide array of measures to make a college education more affordable—including the groundbreaking effort to encourage colleges not to raise tuition, while prodding states to strengthen their investment in higher education—this bill will help millions of American young people attend college and begin their working lives without such an overwhelming burden of debt. thout such an overwhelming burden of debt.