Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) attended a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing on the challenge of college affordability. At the hearing, the Senator heard directly from a panel of current students, professors, and higher education advocates.
"I'm very focused on making sure higher education remains affordable for every American," Senator Murray said. "The budget I wrote last month made education a priority by securing Pell grants, maintaining important student loan programs such as subsidized student loans and income based repayment As Congress debates both the budget and re-authorization of Higher Education Act, it is important that we maintain critical higher education investments for students and their families."
At the hearing, Senator Murray heard from Vivica Brooks, a working mother attending Bowie State University, on the unique challenges faced by working students. Specifically, Senator Murray asked Ms. Brooks what programs or initiatives have been helpful to her as she balances work, family life, and school. Senator Murray also asked Ms. Brooks what more Congress can be doing to support working learners. The Senator also raised concerns over the rising cost of tuition, and asked the panel to provide insight into what more can be done to reduce college costs.