Sen. Tommy Tuberville has proposed legislation that aims to lower the cost of higher education by capping the amount federal students graduate students can take out. His GOAL Act is a part of the Republican backed legislation, “Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act. “He believes the bill will not only put an end to the extreme amount of loans the government hands out, but also reduce the skyrocketing cost of higher education.
While students agree the cost of a degree needs to be brought down, some aren’t convinced limiting the amount of federal students loans is the way to achieve it, like Alyson Mason.
“If there was a cap on the amount of loans I could take out, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to choose the school that I did, it would have limited my school choices,” explained Mason.
Alyson Mason is a graduate student in a nurse anesthesia program. Once she graduates, she’s confident she will be able pay back her student loans, but paying tuition, while in school, isn’t something that’s possible for mason. That’s why she needed to take out federal students loans.
“One thing that is unique about nurse anesthesia is that you cant work during it. It’s a graduate program that you cant work during, so its not that I could work myself through it, and pay for it as I go.,” said Mason.
Tuberville’s says graduate students account for 40% of the nation’s $1.7 trillion student loan debt. Although, they only make up 16 %of the students with loans.
“We hand these young Americans huge amounts of debts in exchange for degrees that often wont enable them to pay them back,” said Tuberville. “Most people in this country did not go to college, they shouldn’t have to pay for other people to go to college or even graduate graduate school.”
The goal of his legislation is to lower the cost of grad school. Tuberville attributes the rising cost of higher education to congress removing the borrowing limit in 2006.
This bill is about saying enough is enough. Putting a limit on graduate loans would force schools to bring down costs or lose students. This would protect students from getting in debt they can never ever pay back.
For students like Mason, who need a loan to cover the full cost of school, they don’t want to rely on colleges and universities to bring down the cost of tuition all on their own.
“Students are just going to get loans from other places,” argued Mason.
The GOAL Act would establish an aggregate unsubsidized Stafford loan limit of $65,000 for graduate students, and $130,000 for professional degree borrowing.