October 18, 2018 Press Releases


(Downers Grove, IL) October 18, 2018 – Today U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Harper College in Palatine, Illinois located in Illinois’ Sixth Congressional District. Sean Casten, Sixth District candidate for Congress, released the following statement:

“The Trump Administration’s abysmal record of trying to gut public education is shameful. Secretary DeVos and Peter Roskam have done nothing to actually help students in Illinois’ Sixth District. Peter Roskam has voted with Trump 94% of the time including voting to make student loans more expensive and a photo op by DeVos won’t change any of that.”

“With so many Illinoisans struggling to get out from under their college debt, it’s unconscionable that Peter Roskam refuses to help. His tax bill handed billions of dollars to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. 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.”

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.

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: