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We need a better educated electorate

Recently, the cost of college tuition has risen more than medical, housing, or food expenses. A lot more.

It's hard enough starting out in life without having the added burden of crushing student loan debt. A country as wealthy as ours can and must do more to support our young people to seek higher education.

I've introduced two pieces of legislation that will make it easier for students to attend and pay for vocational school, community college, or four-year college. The HIGHER ED and AID Acts will expand options and remove barriers.

Let's break down those acronyms:

  • HIGHER ED stands for Helping Individuals Get a Higher Education while Reducing Education Debt.

  • AID stands for Achieving Independence through Degrees.

Currently, graduates enrolled in the repayment plan are required to start making loan payments when their incomes reach $18,210 a year. The HIGHER ED bill raises the threshold to $27,315. This cushion allows young people to concentrate on their careers without fear of falling further into debt.

The AID bill nearly doubles Pell Grants, raising the award from $5,815 to $9,970. The bill also expands SNAP benefits, improves the FAFSA application process, and provides financial literacy education, so young people understand what they're getting into.

The strength of our democracy hinges on a well-educated electorate. We should be doing everything we can to make higher education accessible, affordable, and desirable.

Future generations will make decisions for all of us. Let's make sure they're well-educated decisions.


Posted on June 4, 2018.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter