CASTEN: ROSKAM TURNS BLIND EYE TO COLLEGE DEBT BURDEN
Study Finds Last Year’s Graduates in Illinois Owe $28,424 On Average
(Downers Grove, IL) August 15, 2018 – Congressional candidate Sean Casten today accused Congressman Peter Roskam of “turning a blind eye” to the college debt burden carried by Illinois graduates, which averaged $28,424 last year according to a newly-released report.
“With millions of Americans struggling to get out from under their college debt, it’s unconscionable that Peter Roskam refuses to help,” Casten said. “His tax bill handed billions of dollars to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. But when it comes to everyday families trying to pay for college, Roskam’s cupboard is bare.”
LendEDU’s third annual Student Loan Debt by School by State Report found that 61 percent of 2017 graduates in Illinois owed money on college loans, and that the total outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. stands at $1.52 trillion, making it the second largest form of consumer debt behind only mortgages. That’s approximately the same amount as the $1.5 trillion tax bill authored by Roskam and signed by President Trump last December.
“I would rather see Congress help families afford college and new graduates to pay their debt than handing out billions to corporations and those who’ve already made it. That would be a much better investment in the U.S. economy.”
Casten has proposed a three-point plan to help students and families deal with the skyrocketing college debt burden by:
Allowing the refinancing of student loans;
Allowing such loans to be part of personal bankruptcy filings, and;
Linking Pell Grants to the rate of increase in college tuitions, so their value doesn’t diminish over time.
Roskam’s votes against college affordability include:
Voting against considering the Student Loan Relief Act, which would have prohibited the automatic doubling of student loan rates. [CQ, 5/8/13]
Blocking a vote on allowing more than 25 million students to refinance their loans at lower interest rates. [CQ, 6/11/14]
Voting for a budget that slashed funding for Pell Grants, despite the fact that 15,000 students from the 6th District received more than $50 million in Pell Grants during the 2016-17 school year. [CQ, 3/21/13]