Letter to the Editor: Helping make higher education more affordable

Story by Ron Kind

It is my privilege to represent the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the 13 other colleges and universities in the Third Congressional District, and more than 70,000 students who attend these great institutions.

As you well know, higher education is one of the best investments we can make as a nation to ensure that America can compete in the 21st century economy.

That’s why I’m working to ensure that higher education remains accessible and affordable for you and your families.

I know that paying for college can create serious financial strain, which can sometimes last years or decades. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, a typical student borrows $26,238 to attend a four-year school in Wisconsin, which is fortunately lower than the national average but still represents a significant weight on the shoulders of young people preparing to enter the workforce.

With over 13 percent of students defaulting on their student loan payments, it’s clear more needs to be done to ensure that future students aren’t priced out of higher education.

That’s why I’m working to pass legislation that makes it easier for you and your family to afford college, such as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.

This bill, passed in 2010, will help provide affordable, quality education opportunities helping students graduate with less debt, easing the financial aid application process and stabilizing the student loan program.

This Congress, I am a co-sponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act, a bill that will prevent subsidized Stafford student loan rates from doubling from 3.4 to 6.8 percent.

I am also an original co-sponsor of the Student Loan Interest Deduction Act, which increases the allowable deduction for interest paid on student loans from $2,500 a year to $5,000 for individuals ($10,000 for married couples filing jointly) and repeals an income-based limitation on the deduction.

I’m going to continue to support smart investments in higher education, and stand up against efforts to make short-sighted cuts to education funding. The only way Wisconsin and America can compete is by preparing future generations of professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators to compete in the global

There’s no doubt that Wisconsin has a world-class education system, but there is more work to be done to make sure the doors to our classrooms and lecture halls stay open for everyone. You can count on me to keep fighting for legislation that helps make the dream of college more affordable.

Please share your thoughts and ideas with me about keeping college affordable by emailing me at my website www.kind.house.gov, finding me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repronkind or Twitter @RepRonKind, or calling my Eau Claire office at 715-831-9214. I look forward to hearing from you.





-— Ron Kind, representative of Wisconsin’s 3rd
Congressional District