More and more families are working to make the dream of a college education for their children a reality, but too many of them are struggling under slow economic growth and stagnant wages. Now they are also faced with the increasing cost of tuition, making it harder to plan for and afford a college education.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman is supporting an effort to expand access to college and make it more affordable for students, parents, and families struggling to make ends meet with a series of initiatives, including Flexible Repayment Options for Graduates. Portman is a cosponsor of the Repay Act, which consolidates student loan repayment programs and gives borrowers a choice of either a 10-year fixed repayment or an income-driven repayment plan – making the system work for them.
“The income-driven option would ensure that borrowers never pay more than 15 percent of their monthly disposable income throughout the life of the loan, helping borrowers manage their day-to-day expenses like food and rent while still making progress in paying down their student loans,” Portman said. “The balance of the loan would then be forgiven after 20 or 25 years of repayment, depending on the amount of the loan. In addition, anyone who becomes permanently disabled would have the remaining loan balance forgiven under the bill.”
Another is using Pell Grants to Make College More Affordable. Senator Portman, with Ohio Democratic Representative Marcia Fudge, introduced the bipartisan Go to High School, Go to College Act which would let students use Pell grants to pay for college credits while in high school, making college more affordable.
Those programs include the subsidized, low-interest Perkins Loan Program, lowering student loan rates, expanding College Savings Plans, and rejecting what Portman says is President Obama’s plan to tax college savings, as well as many other programs.
“Shawnee State appreciates the role Senator Portman has played in helping to make college more affordable for all students,” Rick Kurtz, President of Shawnee State University, said. “As an institution serving a significant population of first generation students, a majority of whom come from lower income families, SSU strives to keep college affordable. Senator Portman’s advocacy for the Pell Grant program and reasonable loan repayment options help a great number of Ohio students fulfill their college dreams.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.