Sen. Scott responds to Biden’s student loan handout with the ‘COLLEGE Act’

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) just introduced a piece of legislation that looks to address the student loan debt problem by encouraging universities to help students to obtain degrees that will allow them to repay their student loan debt. 

The legislation is called the “Changing Our Learning, Loans, Endowments, and Graduation Expectations Act,” or “COLLEGE Act” for short.

The bill can be read in its entirety here.

Specifics

The Tampa Free Press provides some specifics about the bill.

The outlet reports:

Under Scott’s measure, colleges would increasingly be on the hook for some of the loan balance of students who default on repayment. It begins at 1 percent of outstanding unpaid balances of students who struggle to pay back the loans and eventually maxes out the colleges’ responsibility at 10 percent of defaulted-loan amounts at the end of 10 years.

The outlet further reports that “Scott’s proposal also makes the Education Department publish the 6-year graduation rate for each academic program, the percentage of graduates who are employed full-time or continuing their education full-time after graduation, and the cost to graduate with a degree for each academic program.”

Scott’s statement

Scott has put out a statement explaining the impetus behind the bill.

“For far too long, state and federal leaders have taken a misguided and failed approach to managing public institutions of higher education,” Scott said. “The result of their decades of failed policy and mismanagement is millions of Americans with mountains of student debt racked up earning degrees that haven’t prepared them for good, high-paying jobs in the real world.”

Scott continued:

Now, these same ‘leaders’ are claiming that the answer to our higher education problems is massive and unconditional student loan debt forgiveness. It’s choosing to treat a symptom when we can cure the disease. If we want real results that improve student performance, boost post-graduation job placement and keep tuition affordable, we need to do the hard work of actually holding colleges and universities responsible for the outcomes of their students and accountable to the American taxpayer. My COLLEGE Act takes big, important steps toward doing exactly that.

Background

Scott’s bill stands in direct opposition to the plan announced by President Joe Biden last week. In addition to extending the federal student loan payment moratorium through the end of the year, Biden announced that the federal government will cancel up to $10,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower — or up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients — so long as the borrower is currently making less than $125,000 as an individual or less than $250,000 as a married couple.

Biden’s plan is expected to cost the American taxpayer upwards of $500 billion.

It’s clear that Scott saw this as an opportunity to respond with what he considers to be something that makes much more sense.

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