Rep. Ami Bera and Sen. Tammy Baldwin Lead Effort to Support Working Students
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Ami Bera (D-CA) are leading the effort in Congress to support students who work their way through school.
Today, Rep. Bera and Sen. Baldwin introduced the Working Students Act to allow students who must work while in college to complete their degrees more quickly and with less debt
“Increasing access to affordable education is core to rebuilding our middle class and that means a student’s decision to take paid work while they’re in school should not impede their access to financial aid,” said Rep. Bera. “We should be encouraging students to get valuable work experience early and start saving for their futures – and I’m proud to say this bill does just that.”
“As I’ve traveled Wisconsin, I have heard firsthand from students and graduates struggling with the cost of higher education in America,” said Senator Baldwin. “Making college affordable is one of the most important steps we can take toward building a strong path to the middle class for all Americans. Students who work while in school should not be penalized with less access to financial aid. I’m proud to introduce legislation to help ensure that working students have the opportunity to earn an affordable higher education and succeed in the workforce.”
Nearly 44 million Americans have outstanding student loans. According to data from the Federal Reserve, student loan debt totals more than $1.4 trillion across the country. The rising debt load makes it more difficult for young professionals to purchase homes, automobiles, and other goods, creating a huge drag on the overall economy.
Currently, students who work while attending school often are eligible for less financial aid due to their work income. The Working Students Act will allow students that must work while in college to complete their degrees more quickly and with less debt. The legislation increases the amount working students can earn without that income counting against them in accessing need-based federal financial aid, including Pell Grants.
This legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
A copy of the Working Students Act is available here.