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January 09, 2015

King Welcomes President’s Announcement on Higher Education Affordability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the President’s official announcement today of his plans to make post-secondary education more affordable at community colleges, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the following statement:

“Higher education in the 21st century is more important than ever, but the rising cost of college is posing severe obstacles to middle class students who want nothing more than a good education and the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to compete in today’s global economy. I look forward to reviewing the details of the President’s proposal and welcome it as an important contribution to the debate over how to make all levels of higher education, including public universities, more affordable.

“One of the best things Congress could do right now to increase access to higher education would be to simplify the processes and forms to receive and pay back federal student aid. Over the years the government has layered program on top of program and built up the bureaucratic rules until the very programs designed to increase access to higher education have themselves become inaccessible. I look forward to moving the Repay Act and the FAST Act in this Congress, both of which are bipartisan and would simplify and streamline our federal student aid programs to help open the doors to the millions of students that this country needs.”

On Wednesday, Senator King, along with Senator Richard Burr, reintroduced the Repay Act, a bill that would simplify the complex maze of federal student loan repayment programs  by consolidating many of the benefits of current repayment programs into two plans: a fixed repayment plan, based on a 10-year period, and a single, simplified income-driven repayment option. The bill would also eliminate the tax on loans discharged due to a borrower’s total and permanent disability. For more information on the Repay Act, click HERE.

He also joined Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) on Wednesday to introduce the FAST Act, a bill to simplify the process of applying for and receiving federal financial aid to attend college, allow year-round use of Pell Grants, discourage over-borrowing and simplify repayments. For more information on the FAST Act, click HERE.


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