Congressman Al Green Votes to Make College More Affordable

Jan 17, 2007 Issues: Education

(Washington, D.C.)--Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) voted to make college more affordable and accessible by cutting the interest rate on subsidized student loans for undergraduates in half over the next five years cutting the interest rate from 6.8% to 3.4%.  The bill cuts the interest rate in half in five steps:  from 6.8% to 6.12% in 2007; 5.44% in 2008; 4.76% in 2009; 4.08% in 2010; and 3.4% in 2011.

The House passed the bill this afternoon by a vote of 356 to 71.

"I believe in an America where every child should grow up knowing that if they study and work hard, that they will have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream," Congressman Al Green said.  "It is past time that Congress makes college more affordable and accessible for low and middle-income students and their families."

In the state of Texas alone, there are over 205,000 four-year college students with subsidized student loans who would benefit from this bill.  Once fully phased in, the bill would save the average four-year college student in Texas with subsidized student loans $4,550 over the life of their loans.

"The foundation of our nation is education," Congressman Al Green said.  "Generally speaking those with better educations earn more, are healthier, and live longer."

According to a report released last October by the College Board, this past year public four-year university prices for in-state students rose 6.3 percent and private four-year university prices rose 5.9 percent.  Another report released this past October by the American Council on Education showed that over 47 percent of white high school graduates attend college, versus 41 percent of black high school students and 35 percent of Hispanic high school graduates.

"The road to a better society is paved with better education," Congressman Al Green said.  "I want more of our people to have the opportunity to travel the road to a better society."

Recent polls show that almost 90 percent of Americans support this bipartisan legislation as well as dozens of organizations including the American Council on Education, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, American Association for State Colleges and Universities and American Association of Community Colleges.