Biggert Introduces Help Student Soldiers Act'
U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) has joined U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI-3rd) in introducing legislation to ensure that students in the military are not forced to pay off unused college costs because they have been called into active service. The two introduced the measure, H.R.2561, the Help Student Soldiers Act, late Thursday.
"No student should have to pay college tuition for a period when he or she have been called away to serve our country," said Biggert. "These courageous and dedicated individuals deserve our full support, and they should be secure in the knowledge that an affordable education will be waiting for them when they return home."
The bipartisan bill directs the Secretary of Education to forgive any federal student loan taken for the semester in which a student must withdraw from college due to a call to active duty and therefore do not receive academic credit. Other cosponsors include Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA-4th) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA-52nd). The bill also has been endorsed by the American Council on Education, the American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"Our veterans and soldiers in the military sacrifice so much to secure the freedoms we enjoy," said Biggert. "To burden them with the costs of an education they never received because they were busy protecting our liberties and values would be a travesty."
Many schools forgive tuition for members of the military who are called to serve. But many other schools do not, placing student soldiers into difficult financial situations when they return from active service. They are forced to repeat semesters that they have already paid for, at their own expense.
"Such a situation is not only unfair, it places additional pressure on these soldiers at a time when they are already facing extraordinary challenges," said Biggert. "I'm pleased to work with Congressman Kind on a bipartisan basis to introduce this legislation."