Sen. Warner holds talk at ODU on student debt crisis

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Senator Mark Warner gave a lesson on college affordability at Old Dominion University Tuesday morning.

With student borrowing on the rise, the average college student graduates with about $30,000 in debt. So, 10 On Your Side stopped by the senator’s talk on tackling the student debt crisis. One of the platforms he’s pushing is how to make college tuition easier for middle class families to afford.

“Two years ago, I would hear about this occasionally. Now, I hear about it at nearly every town hall I go to,” Warner told WAVY.com. “Where people are saying, ‘my kid can’t find a job, he’s in debt, what do I do?’ I think we need to wrestle this issue. It’s going to take some common sense, as well as pressure on higher education institutions overall.”

One of the ideas Warner is proposing would be allowing graduates to apply part of their salary directly to their loan, pre-tax.

Senator Warner has introduced the following measures to deal with student debt:

  • The Dynamic Student Loan Repayment Act: Senators Mark Warner and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced this initiative to create a streamlined and automatic income-based repayment system that helps borrowers pay back their debt at a more affordable and manageable pace.
  • The Employer Participation in Refinancing Act: Senator Warner partnered with Republican Senators John Thune and Kelly Ayotte to advance the option for employers to pay down an employee’s already existing student debt through the tax-free employer education assistance program.
  • The Student Right to Know Before You Act: With Senators Marco Rubio and Ron Wyden, Senator Warner introduced the bipartisan bill to increase the transparency of colleges’ performances. This initiative is one step forward in allowing students and their families to understand the financial investments and potential outcomes that come from a post-secondary education.
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