Fighting for Debt-Free Higher Education

Fighting for Debt-Free Higher Education

The student loan debt crisis demands action as college costs and suffocating debt are holding back an entire generation and slowing Wisconsin’s economic growth. Following roundtables with students and recent graduates at campuses across Wisconsin, Tammy introduced bold reforms to put America on a path toward debt-free college and make sure every Wisconsinite has the opportunity and skills they need to build a stronger future.

Refinancing Student Loan Debt

Americans have been saddled with over $1 trillion in student debt and the system is rigged against hardworking Wisconsinites who can’t escape their neverending payments. Tammy took on the big banks and Washington bureaucracy by introducing legislation that would allow struggling borrowers to refinance their student loans and take advantage of lower interest rates — the same way people refinance a mortgage, a car loan, or credit card debt.

With student loan debt surpassing credit card debt in America, there is no excuse not to act. Tammy is leading the way to make the system work for ambitious, hardworking Wisconsin students rather than for the special interests trying to make a quick buck at their expense.

The Skills to Succeed

As a co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education Caucus, Tammy is leading commonsense legislation with Democrats and Republicans to close the skills gap by promoting workforce readiness, job training, and apprenticeships.

Tammy’s America’s College Promise Act — a bold plan for two years of tuition-free community and technical college — will ensure our students and workers have the skills they need to succeed in the next generation of Wisconsin manufacturing jobs, without being dragged down by debt. Successful “Promise” programs at colleges across the state have already shown that this plan works for Wisconsin and helps build a highly skilled workforce that is ready to drive economic growth.

Tammy has also announced landmark job training legislation that would scale up Wisconsin’s apprenticeship programs and provide more Wisconsinite with the skills required for good-paying jobs. Tammy’s apprenticeship bill would invest in public-private partnerships between schools and local businesses so that we can educate and credential Wisconsin workers without saddling them with student debt.

Helping Students Keep Pace with Rising Costs

Tammy has led bold college affordability reforms while also pushing Washington to take immediate action for current students who need relief from sky-high college costs. Pell Grants help millions of students stay in school each year, and Tammy has worked to strengthen these grants, while also pushing to adjust them for inflation so they keep pace with rising costs.

When the Perkins Loan Program expired in 2015, some in Washington stood idly by as students across the country feared they would lose their critical student aid. Tammy took immediate action and did right by Wisconsin students by building a bipartisan coalition in the Senate, bringing Republicans and Democrats together to fight for our students. Tammy revived the Perkins Loan Program, but soon enough, Washington was back at its games and letting another deadline slide as the student aid program to expired. Tammy once again sprung to action, and she’s being joined by students across Wisconsin to fight to save Perkins Loans.