Despite needing the student loan crisis to change, we, as a nation, are still not giving enough attention to legislation to reduce college debt. The “In the Red Act” is Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin’s attempt to improve college affordability, but as of right now it’s not getting enough traction.
The bill’s full title is “A bill to make college more affordable, reduce student debt, and provide greater access to higher education for all students of the United States.” As it states in its title, the bill was created, to make college more affordable and accessible. The act has three main parts: allowing refinancing of student loans, increasing Pell Grants with inflation, and providing free two-year college to qualifying applicants.
Warren initially introduced the bill in 2014 but it was voted down. She introduced a new version of the bill last March. As the nation’s college-goers continue to experience skyrocketing college prices and student loan debt, this bill becomes more and more necessary.
Senator Warren reminds us that the federal government made $66 billion in profit from interest rates from the federal loan program from 2007-2012. Higher education should be about students, not billions in profits.
On September 15th, Sens. Warren and Baldwin met with a panel of college representatives to discuss and bring attention to the “In the Red Act.” On September 19th the House version of the bill was Referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training.
Although it has had some recent attention, GovTrack, a website that tracks bill’s progress, gives it only a 1 percent chance of being enacted. We need to do everything we can to make sure this bill doesn’t fade from view, for all Americans, but especially for Georgians, who are still carrying the most student loan debt per capita, in the nation.