Legislation aimed at lowering the cost of graduate school has been introduced by Sen. Tommy Tuberville.
The Graduate Opportunity and Affordable Loans Act (GOAL) will combat rising tuition costs by reinstating a limit on the the amount of federal loans a graduate student can have, according to the senator’s office.
“More and more of our young people are finding themselves buried in student loan debt,” said Tuberville (R-Auburn). “As a result, too many of our young people are falling behind on their life goals, like buying a house. Over my last 15 years in coaching, I saw tuition costs explode for young people across America.
“Now Joe Biden’s loan giveaway is projected to increase inflation even more.”
Currently, graduate student loans account for almost half of the federal student loan debt taken each year and 40% of the $1.7 trillion in outstanding federal student loans, despite accounting for only 16% of postsecondary students, Tuberville said.
“My bill says, ‘enough is enough’ — it sets a maximum limit on graduate school loans to stop the most egregious examples of students being exploited for profit,” he said. “The federal blank check for graduate loans has done nothing to increase access to education, but it’s done everything to drive up costs for students and put the taxpayers on the hook. My bill would put a stop to this and force schools to compete for students by bringing down costs. The GOAL Act would help more of our young people to achieve their goals.”
The GOAL Act:
- Replaces PLUS Loans with separate undergraduate Stafford and graduate Stafford loans, with separate loan limits.
- Allows institutions of higher education to set lower loan limits by program, which will give schools a chance to protect their students from over-borrowing.
For graduate school borrowing
- Keeps annual unsubsidized Stafford loan limit at $20,500.
- Establishes total unsubsidized graduate Stafford loan limit at $65,000.
For professional degree borrowing
- Sets annual unsubsidized Stafford loan limits at $40,500.
- Establishes aggregate unsubsidized Stafford loan limit at $130,000.
The legislation is part of the Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act, which would:
- Provide students and families with better information to choose the right school and program of study to achieve the best return on investment for them.
- Simplify the student loan borrowing process to prevent students from unintentionally taking out more loans than they can afford or need.
- Ensure borrowers can navigate student loan repayment options without unnecessary confusion.
- Guide students against taking on debt to attend programs that do not translate to higher-paying job opportunities.