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How Do We Achieve Equitable, Affordable Higher Education: A briefing on the Debt Free College Act

  • HVC-200, Capitol Visitor Center (map)

When: Friday February 15, 2019 2-3 p.m.

Where: HVC-200 

Dear Colleague,

Please join us for a staff briefing on the importance of solving the rising student debt crisis.

Higher education is one of the surest paths to economic security and opportunity for Americans.  College degree-holders earn over 65 percent more than workers with only high school degrees,[i] and the unemployment rate for workers with a college degree is less than half that of high school graduates.[ii] 

The cost of college, however, is astronomically high and has increased 300 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars over the past 30 years.  The total cost of attendance—tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses—puts higher education out of reach for many Americans, particularly for people of color.  Soaring costs force those who do pursue college to take on debt to cover their financial need.  Currently, 44 million Americans have student loans.  College debt has increased 170 percent since 2006 and now exceeds $1.5 trillion dollars, which is second only to mortgage debt and surpasses even credit card debt.[iii] 

In order to explore how Congress can address student debt, I invite you to join a conversation this Friday with expert guests, including:

  • Mark Huelsman—Associate Director of Policy and Research at Demos, a progressive public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.

  • Dr. Tiffany Jones—Director of Higher Education Policy at The Education Trust, a national non-profit that advocates for educational equity on behalf of students of color and students from low-income families.

  • Reid Setzer—Public Policy Director at Young Invincibles, a network of over 500,000 18-34 year olds using research to identify persistent problems facing young adults’ economic security and generate new policy ideas to tackle those challenges.

  • Mika Morse – Deputy Legislative Director and Legislative Counsel for Senator Brian Schatz. 

We hope you can join this timely and important hearing. Please RSVP to Leslie.Zelenko@mail.house.gov.

Representative Mark Pocan                             Senator Brian Schatz

Member of Congress                                        Member of Congress