U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is collecting stories from students about the burden of college loan debt.
Is college debt weighing down your future prospects? U.S. Sen. Patty Murray wants to hear from you.
Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has launched a new tool aimed at collecting stories about the difficulties of getting through college at a time when student debt is on the rise.
The HELP committee, chaired by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is working on reauthorizing the federal Higher Education Act, and changes to the act could include changes to financial aid forms and to the Pell Grant program. Murray says she wants to “keep pressure on Republicans” to make college more affordable.
It’s estimated that about 40 million Americans have $1.3 trillion in college debt. In Washington, a student who graduated in 2014 owes, on average, $24,804. That’s up from $17,415 ten years ago, according to the Institute for College Access & Success’s project on student debt. Washington is considered a low-debt state; the state with the highest debt is Delaware, where students owe an average of $33,808 upon graduation.