Ernst Continues Efforts to Help Iowa Students Plan Finances for Higher Education, Address Student Loan Debt

Senator Ernst is championing six different bills to give students more comprehensive information about tuition costs and financial aid and to help former students pay down loan debt

WASHINGTON—On National Higher Education Day, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) continues to push for bipartisan solutions to give Iowa students and their families better tools to plan for the future and to address the growing student loan debt so many Americans face.

“As a mother, I know how important it is for our kids to have the best opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed, including considering higher education. But since the Great Recession, student loan debt in our country has doubled to now more than $1.5 trillion, while tuition costs and fees at colleges have ballooned, increasing at three times the rate of inflation since 2007. We need to address this problem in multiple ways, including creating more transparency in the process—giving students and their families the opportunity to compare costs and choices for higher education—and helping former students pay down the debt they owe. Working across the aisle, we can help prospective, current, and former students chart their future and succeed,” said Senator Joni Ernst.

Senator Ernst is championing six different bills designed to help prospective students and their families get the information they need about borrowing for school and to assist former students in paying off debt they’ve already accrued.

Senator Ernst is a cosponsor of the following bills to create more transparency and give students and their families comprehensive information about their college options, allowing them to compare student outcomes, costs, and financial aid opportunities available at higher education institutions:

In addition, Senator Ernst is also a cosponsor of the Employer Participation in Repayment Act, a bill that would allow businesses to offer their employees thousands of dollars annually, tax-free, to pay down their student loan debt. Currently, the tax code allows businesses to contribute money for employees to enroll in graduate school. However, businesses cannot use the same tax benefit to help pay off workers’ student loans. This bill would lift that barrier and give employers the ability to help their employees pay down student loan debt.

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