With the cost for a four year education at a private university averaging $160,000, this is hardly the time to reduce the government's role in providing access to higher education.  More than ever, we need to find solutions to make student loan debt more manageable and make college education more affordable. I am committed to ensuring that college is affordable for every qualified student who wants to attend. Below is information regarding recent legislation that the Democratic Congress has passed in order to make higher education more accessible. Click here for information on access to financial aid and other resources.

The Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act of 2008 (H.R. 5715)

The current state of the U.S. Credit Markets has made it difficult for some lenders to secure the capital necessary to finance student loans. Although no students or colleges have reported problems accessing federal student aid, Congress took the steps to ensure that plans are in place to provide students and families with uninterrupted access to federal loans regardless of what is happening with the credit markets.

College Cost Reduction and Access Act (H.R. 2669)

Last year the House passed the College Cost Reduction Act, which was signed into law on September 27, 2007. This legislation is the single largest investment in college aid since the GI Bill of 1944. The College Cost Reduction and Access Act will help millions of students and families pay for college at no new cost to taxpayers, boosting college aid by roughly $20 billion over the next five years. Under this legislation, the maximum value of the Pell Grant will increase by $1,090 over the next five years and interest rates on need-based loans will be cut in half to 3.4 percent over the next four years. When it is fully phased in, these measures will save the typical student borrower, with $13,800 in need-based student loan debt, $4,400 over the life of the loan.