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Economic Relief for Students!

Students are struggling under the weight of the recession. Lay-offs and other economic difficulties are affecting the ability of families to help with college costs at the same time that states are slashing higher education budgets and college endowments plummet. The result is rising tuition, increased demand for student aid, and even caps on enrollment at many colleges and universities.

The House of Representatives recently passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (often called the “economic stimulus package”), which includes relief for students and investments in higher education. The bill is currently being considered in the Senate. Unfortunately, many conservatives are singling out Pell grants and other common sense provisions that would help students in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Students can't afford to wait until the economy improves, but they can take action now to make sure that the pro-education policies are included in the final version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and that they are passed by Congress.

>> Raise Pell Grants Increase the maximum award by $500 to $5,350.

>> Increase work study opportunitiesProvide an additional $490 million to provide more on-campus jobs for low and middle income students.

>> Reform higher education tax credits  Make tax credits partially refundable up to $1,000 to make the program work for low income families, and allow textbooks costs, in addition to tuition and fees, to count towards the credit.

>> Invest in higher education – Provide $6 billion for higher education modernization, renovation, and repair. These projects can create or save jobs and counteract state budget cuts while helping our system of higher education to prepare for the challenges of the 21st century.

>> Keep student loan limits at current levels The version of the bill that was passed by the House of Representatives increases the amount of federal student loans a student can borrow by $2,000 a year. Just last year there was an increase of $2,000, which, combined with the proposed loan limit expansion, would increase total student loan debt by as much as $10,000 for many students. Many college graduates already have debt levels that would be unmanageable at the salary level of a teacher, and increases in student loan debt works against the economic benefits of a college degree.  

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September 22, 2019


Dear member of Congress,

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