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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Lifting the Weight of Student Loans: Progress Update & Road Ahead

U.S.+Representative+Lloyd+Doggett.+Image+courtesy+of+Llyod+Doggett.

U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett. Image courtesy of Llyod Doggett.

As with so many issues, there is no one perfect solution to solve the student loan burden that far too many students face and which weighs down the promise of an economy that works for us all. But, with an ever-growing student debt crisis, we cannot afford to ignore it—nor to skip investments in institutions that provide opportunity for everyone.
I still find the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) too complicated and underutilized; I’ve been working for over a decade to streamline the process and allow more students to tap into more financial aid resources.
Also fundamental to increasing access to education are Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) like Texas State. Roughly 700 college and universities serve almost 30% of all undergraduates and 40% of underrepresented students, providing post-secondary opportunities to a collective student body of nearly 5 million.
With a student body that is 36 percent Hispanic, 11 percent Black and 4 percent other minorities, Bobcats should take particular pride in the diversity of this university, which reflects our state’s diversity.
The FUTURE Act, signed into law this December, restored and made permanent $255 million in critical annual funding for HBCUs and other MSIs.
In addition to getting this funding over the finish line, we managed to improve the aid process itself for students and graduates nationwide. The FUTURE Act contained provisions from a bill I authored, the Student Aid Simplification Act, to require the Department of Education and IRS to do the heavy lifting for students by securely sharing the taxpayer information needed to complete much of the FAFSA. Doing so will greatly simplify the FAFSA by eliminating up to 22 questions for most filers and make the process more secure.
This also makes strides for graduates repaying student debt: The law eliminates the burdensome annual certification process for the roughly seven million graduates in income-driven loan repayment plans. This will protect borrowers at risk of removal from these plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Whether it’s speaking up on policies regarding student debt, expanding health care for all, protecting immigrant rights, shielding LGBTQ rights from attacks, standing up for climate action now, or ending the scourge of gun violence, our democracy needs your voice. Because some would limit your participation, your involvement is particularly demanded.
In the midst of unprecedented turnout for early voting in 2018, the LBJ Student Center voting location was closed. Thanks to a united effort from Bobcat leadership, Texas Civil Rights Project, MOVE Texas, and from my office, that decision was reversed. This year, it is open for early voting and on election day. Local early voting locations are available here.
Bobcats, your vote is your voice. Especially in these difficult times, let’s never give up and never give in.
– Rep. Lloyd Doggett, represents Texas’ 35th congressional district

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