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Op Ed: Powering The Economy Through Education

Op-Ed

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Powering The Economy Through Education

As Congress works to turn our economy around as quickly as possible, we must also put policies in place that ensure America's economic strength for generations to come. Providing top-notch education and training opportunities for our workforce is essential to achieving that goal.

Over the course of a lifetime, a worker with a college degree will earn nearly $1 million more than one with only a high school diploma. But unfortunately, the rising cost of a college education is preventing many talented Hoosiers from reaching their full potential.

Congress has already taken some important steps to address this problem; cutting the interest rate for undergraduates with subsidized loans in half and updating the GI Bill to increase benefits for recent veterans.

This week, the House made additional progress by approving the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.

The bill eliminates unnecessary federal subsidies to banks and private lenders, allowing us to make critical investments in student aid and return $10 billion to the Treasury to pay down the debt.

The bill invests billions of dollars in student aid, increasing the need-based Pell Grant scholarship maximum award amount to $5,550 next year and strengthening the campus-based Perkins Loan program, which provides low-cost federal loans to students.

It also provides $10 billion to help community colleges prepare students for the workforce and re-train displaced workers. The money will be used to strengthen partnerships with businesses and local job training programs to ensure that our workforce has the skills and training necessary to meet the demands of local businesses and industries.

It's a smart, fiscally-responsible policy and I hope the Senate will pass it soon.


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