Burr Releases Statement on Higher Education Proposals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) released the following statement after the President’s proposal to offer free tuition at community colleges for students striving for a four-year degree and maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher: 

“If the President has found the billions of dollars in new money that would be required for this latest idea, I’d prefer we use it to shore up Pell Grant’s finances so that assistance is available for years to come for North Carolina’s neediest students.  Pell Grants provide students with maximum choice in post-secondary options from all sectors of higher education, including community colleges.  This new proposal from the Obama Administration favors one sector of higher education over others when, as we all know, there are so many other options available that might best suit a student’s needs.  Rather than committing to new programs that will carry substantial new costs, I believe we should be ensuring our existing promises to college students are kept and made sustainable for generations to come through commonsense reforms like the FAST Act and, legislation I’ve introduced with Senator King, the Repay Act.” 

Earlier this week, Senator Burr introduced two higher education pieces of legislation with a group of bipartisan colleagues, the Repay Act and the FAST Act.

Senators Burr and King reintroduced their legislation, The Repay Act, to reform student loan repayment programs by consolidating many of the benefits of current repayment programs into two plans: a fixed repayment plan, based on a 10-year period, and a single, simplified income-driven repayment option.  Read more about Repay Act here.

Senator Burr also joined Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Angus King (I- Maine) in introducing the FAST Act which would simplify the financial aid process. The bill would reduce to a single postcard—called the “Student Aid Short Form”—the questions 20 million Americans must answer to apply for federal financial aid each year and inform high school students in their junior year of the amount they’ll receive in federal aid to help pay for college. It would also address the problem of some students borrowing too much money, and simplify the options students have to repay their federal loans.  The act also streamlines federal grant and loan programs to better serve more students more effectively. Read more about the FAST Act here.