BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), today visited Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) for a roundtable discussion on the increasing cost of higher education nationwide. Senator Cardin spoke with students, College President Dawn Lindsay and financial aid officers about the financial hardships faced by students at AACC. Americans of all ages hold a combined $1 trillion in student loans, a sum greater than that of credit card debt.
“There are very few families in America who can afford the costs of higher education outright. It’s regrettable, but very true. No American should be priced out of an education and the opportunities that come with it,” said Senator Cardin.
“Pricing students out of a higher education, or allowing them to drown in debt, hurts our economy and society in the long run. We’re talking about the future generation of entrepreneurs. We’ve got to do more to help, especially our veterans. There are several provisions Congress could act on right now that would make education more accessible and less burdensome for millions of Americans. We need to bring down the overall costs of education. We’ve got to expand Pell Grants. And we’ve got to fix things in Washington to make it easier for students to finance their futures.”
Senator Cardin is a cosponsor of the Bank on Students Emergency Refinancing Act (S. 2292), which would allow those who currently hold student loan debt to refinance it at the lower interest rates currently offered only to new borrowers. The General Accountability Office estimates that the federal government will make $66 billion dollars on student loans issued from 2007-2012. Senator Cardin also cosponsored the Understanding the True Cost of College Act (S.1156) which would help make the cost of college more transparent from the outset by standardizing financial aid, forms and definitions.