UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Congress sends student aid bill to Bush to become law

During a conference call on Sept. 19, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Representatives Tim Bishop of New York, Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania, Chris Murray of Connecticut and John Sarbanes of Maryland discussed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act.

The House of Representatives sent it to President Bush on Sept. 18 to have it signed into law, after the Senate had voted it through on Sept. 8. The act, which previously had a veto threat held over it by Bush, now has support from both parties in both chambers of Congress.

“As college costs continue to rise, many would-be students are holding off on going to college,” Hoyer said during the call. “This is not a good situation for our young people, or for our nation and economy. We need an educated workforce in order to compete in the 21st century global marketplace, and the College Cost Reduction Act will help ensure that all students are able to afford a college education.”

The College Cost Reduction and Access Act is “the largest investment in higher education in 60 years,” and will help families with the rising cost of college. Over the past five years, the cost of college has risen 40 percent and this act will help make tuition more affordable for millions of students.

“We should not underestimate the impact that the College Cost Reduction and Access Act will have on people’s lives, both the students who are taking on this additional debt now and their families who are helping their children pay for college,” Altmire said during the call. “Congress is making a substantial investment in education in this country by providing students with more dollars to pay for their tuition in the form of loans and grants and by ensuring that the burden of debt doesn’t become overwhelming after they graduate.”

The legislation is cutting the interest rates on subsidized loans, providing tuition assistance to students who commit to teaching at public schools that reside in high-poverty communities or subject areas lacking teachers, and providing loan forgiveness 10 years after loan payments for public service workers.

More information on the legislation and statistics on how much money on average will be saved by students, state by state, can be found at majorityleader.house.gov.