February 04, 2014 by Latasha Myers
There is exciting news in the Badger State. Wisconsin policymakers are attempting to lower student loan debt.
As reported by One Wisconsin Now, the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act (SB 375) introduced by state senators Dave Hansen and Cory Mason would:
- Create a state authority to help borrowers refinance their student loans, just like you can a home mortgage;
- Allow borrowers to deduct their student loan payments on their state income taxes, just like you can with home mortgage interest;
- Require borrowers be given detailed information before entering into loan agreements, offer counseling to students and parents on the implications of student loans and require the state to collect and disseminate information about private lenders and maintain a ranking system; and
- Track information about student loan debt in the state to help policy makers better understand the depth and breadth of the debt crisis in Wisconsin.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, says that "There are hundreds of thousands of borrowers with student debt in Wisconsin. They've done the right thing, working hard to get their education or job training and taking on the personal responsibility. They're not asking for a bailout, but they deserve a system that treats them fairly and gives them the fair shot at the middle class they've earned through their hard work.”
Wisconsin is not alone in states who are moving toward making a recommitment to higher education; Colorado and Virginia are also among a growing number of states who have introduced legislation that will tremendously help lower the cost of college for students in their state.
It seems that a sense of urgency has been sparked in states, and since state disinvestment in higher education is the number one driver for the rising cost of college tuition, let’s hope that other states will catch this fever.
Practical solutions that makes college more affordable for students should be supported.