Weight Around our Student’s Necks

From John Plumb on College Loans/College Debt:

student-debt“Soon, students will be heading back to school across our district. Some will be heading on to college and embark on the beginning of their professional lives. As I have traveled the district and talked to voters, one thing that is on the mind of parents and students is the cost of higher education.

College has become far too expensive. For many, that means taking on student loans that can be a crushing burden after graduation. Quality higher education should be a big stepping stone to creating a better life for our young Americans, not a big weight around their necks.

We need to make sure a quality education is within reach for all of our students, without the burden of overwhelming debt, but Congress needs to act to make that happen.

There are common sense solutions that Congress can take to make college more affordable.

First, we can tie student loan payments to a percentage of income allowing graduates to take the jobs they want to pursue, not just a job they need to take to pay off debt.

Second, when it comes to student loans, the problem is the system is rigged to benefit the big banks, who in turn support the members of Congress who are setting the rules. But if we can allow graduates to refinance their student loans, it forces the banks to compete for their business and puts more money back in the pockets of working families.

Congress can make these changes, but so far they refuse to put students and working families ahead of Wall Street. It’s time for that to change. Join me and let’s send Congress a message.”

Even though Plumb didn’t mention either the GOP or Rep. Reed’s College Cost/Loans philosophy, I feel that a review of their recent proposals would be warranted:

  • In May 2015 Rep. Reed supported the GOP  Budget proposal “that would roll back or eliminate a series of federal programs aimed at making college more affordable and student debt more manageable”
  • The proposal would eliminate guaranteed funding for Pell Grants, which provide money for the country’s poorest students to attend college
  • It also would end of subsidized Stafford loans, which the government pays the interest while the borrower is in school. These loans are aimed for lower income students

Rep. Reed, wanting to be seen as trying to lower the cost of a college education, has proposed that “universities with an endowment exceeding $1 billion to redistribute a portion of that as scholarships for students from working-class families.”  He has said that he has written a draft of the bill regulate endowments, but it has not been submitted for consideration yet.

Most colleges’ endowment funds are nowhere near $1 billion. The only college/university in the NY 23rd with more than $1 billion is Cornell. Reed’s proposal would affect a very small number of students.

Summary: Rep. Reed voted to reduce grants for students in need, and is trying to reduce college costs–but only to those who are able to attend Ivy League level Universities. Not very helpful to the average NY23rd student. This proposal indicates who he really cares about.





About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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3 Responses to Weight Around our Student’s Necks

  1. josephurban says:

    I thought Reed opposed the “redistribution of wealth” !! He is in favor of “redistributing wealth” from the richest to the poorest, when it comes to colleges? A small step in the right direction!


  2. Deb Meeker says:

    “In 2013, faced with a doubling of student loan rates, Reed voted to tie federal loan rates to Treasury bills, pushing a bill that subjected students to the whims of the marketplace over the life of each loan. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the bill Reed voted for could more than double loan rates. I believe that working families and the middle class deserve the lowest interest rates available, with rates locked in in over the life of a loan, rather than fluctuating rates that Reed voted for.” ~ Martha Robertson

    ““Reed’s claimed interest in student aid rings hollow given that he voted just last year to slash Pell Grants, which would hurt our rural middle-class families and college students who rely on that program to pay their way through school,” Plumb said in a statement to The Sun. “This is just one more example of Congressman Reed trying to cover up his six years of doing nothing at all. Our students deserve real solutions, not political stunts — and they deserve a new member of Congress who knows the difference.” ~ John Plumb


  3. Barbara Griffin says:

    I’m disappointed that Plumb doesn’t seem to support Bernie Sanders’ stance on free college tuition or Hillary’s “debt free” college. He’s still talking loans for tuition, rather than federal dollars to off-set the cost. Even if the loans were interest free, the students will still owe thousands of dollars after graduation.


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