At UVM, Welch is­sues call for stu­dent debt sto­ries to ed­u­cate Congress

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Burling­ton, VT

With stu­dent debt top­ping one tril­lion dol­lars na­tion­wide, Rep. Peter Welch Mon­day launched an ini­tia­tive to com­pile sto­ries from Ver­mont stu­dents and fam­i­lies about the bur­den of ris­ing stu­dent loan debt.

Meet­ing with stu­dents at the UVM Davis Cen­ter, Welch urged them to share their sto­ries on his web­site at stu­dent­debt. With stu­dents fac­ing a July 1 dou­bling of in­ter­est rates for Fed­eral Di­rect Stafford Stu­dent Loans, Welch is work­ing to ed­u­cate House lead­ers about the grow­ing cri­sis of stu­dent loan debt and col­lege af­ford­abil­ity. In Ver­mont, nearly 70 per­cent of col­lege grad­u­ates hold an av­er­age of $30,000 in debt.

“A col­lege ed­u­ca­tion is the clear­est path to the Amer­i­can

mid­dle class,” Welch said. “But in­creas­ing tuition costs and mount­ing stu­dent loan debt are hang­ing a fi­nan­cial al­ba­tross around the necks of col­lege stu­dents and their par­ents. Congress must act to block the dou­bling of stu­dent loan in­ter­est rates and be­gin to get a han­dle on col­lege af­ford­abil­ity. Over the next few weeks, I in­tend to bring the per­sonal sto­ries of strug­gling Ver­mon­ters to the floor of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives to high­light the need for a bi­par­ti­san so­lu­tion to col­lege af­ford­abil­ity.”

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