As a former educator, I understand the value and positive impact that a quality education has on individuals and their lives. In order for us to help individuals succeed professionally, we must first help them succeed academically. Today, more so than any other time in our history, we see that armed with the tools of a quality education, our children have a better chance of succeeding professionally.
According to the Department of Education (DOE), in 2010, about 74 percent of young adults with a bachelor's degree or higher were employed full time, compared with just 55 percent of those with just a high school diploma or its equivalent, while only 41 percent of those without a high school diploma or its equivalent had full-time employment.
Additionally, the DOE reports that the median earnings for young adults with a bachelor's degree was $45,000, while the median was $21,000 for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent, and just $30,000 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent. In other words, what we are seeing today is that for those young adults entering the workforce, they are much more likely to obtain a full-time job, and much more likely to have a higher earning power.
That is why I have always been in support of providing all of our children with the best possible education. From my time in the Florida Legislature -- where I co-authored the Florida Prepaid College Program which has helped thousands of Floridians access higher education by allowing parents to lock in current tuition rates -- to this Congress, I have continually worked to ensure that children have every opportunity to excel academically, so that they can excel professionally.
I have voted for legislation that encourages choice, innovation, and excellence in education, empowering parents to have more say in where their children receive their education. I have voted to increase the availability of Pell Grants and to raise the Stafford federal student loan limits -- both of which are critical to helping our students continue their scholastic endeavors -- and I have voted to repeal burdensome regulations on institutions of higher education that add unnecessary costs on institutions and students.