Welch An­nounces Leg­is­la­tion To Curb Col­lege Tu­ition Costs

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Burling­ton, VT

Joinedby students and fam­i­lies at the Univer­sity of Ver­mont, Rep. Peter Welch to­day an­nounced leg­is­la­tion to re­duce the reg­u­la­tory burden on col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties and curb ris­ing tu­ition costs, which bal­looned by 8.3 per­cent last year.

“A col­lege ed­u­ca­tion is the clear­est path to the Amer­i­can mid­dle class,” Welch said. “But rapidly ris­ing tu­ition costs are nar­row­ing that path for mid­dle class fam­i­lies. This leg­is­la­tion will help col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties con­trol reg­u­la­tory costs and give par­ents pre­dictabil­ity on the fu­ture cost of tu­ition as they piece to­gether the re­sources for their chil­dren’s col­lege ed­u­ca­tion.”

The Col­lege Cost Re­duc­tion Act cre­ates a two-step process to bend the curve of ris­ing col­lege costs. It will grant reg­u­la­tory re­lief to col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties and limit tu­ition in­creases. Ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg, col­lege costs have risen 1120 per­cent – about five times the rate of in­fla­tion – in the past three decades.

Un­der the leg­is­la­tion, a task force – made up of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the higher ed­u­ca­tion community and gov­ern­ment agen­cies – will make rec­om­men­da­tions to the Pres­i­dent to re­duce un­nec­es­sary and cum­ber­some higher ed­u­ca­tion reg­u­la­tions. The Pres­i­dent will then have 120 days to sub­mit im­ple­ment­ing leg­is­la­tion to Congress which would be de­bated and voted on un­der ex­pe­dited rules. Upon en­act­ment, the Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion would es­tab­lish the process for curb­ing an­nual tu­ition in­creases as well as the penal­ties for non-com­pli­ance.

Mak­ing a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion af­ford­able has been a top pri­or­ity for Welch. Ear­lier this year when a sched­uled dou­bling of Stafford Stu­dent Loan in­ter­est rates threat­ened to raise bor­row­ing rates on nearly 19,000 Ver­mon­ters, Welch led the ef­fort in the U.S. House to block the in­crease.

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