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Congressman Yarmuth Offers Loan Relief for College Graduates

Amendment Includes Aid for Those in Teaching, Law Enforcement, Nursing, and other Public Service Fields

(Washington, DC) In today’s Education and Labor Committee markup of the College Cost Reduction Act, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) offered an amendment that will give graduatesClick here to watch Yarmuth introduce his amendment. in public service professions $1,000 of college loan forgiveness in each of their first five years in their fields.  The amendment was approved by voice vote and will be included in the bill when it is sent to the floor.

“The skyrocketing cost of a college education prevents many skilled Americans from pursuing careers in teaching, law enforcement, nursing, and other public service fields,” Congressman Yarmuth said.  “With this amendment, we will be able to provide relief to people serving their communities, and encourage recent graduates to enter this work force.”

Those eligible for loan forgiveness include first responders, law enforcement officers, early childhood educators, nurses, librarians, highly-qualified teachers in hard-to-staff schools, child care workers, speech-language pathologists, and other public servants.

Since 1996, the average graduate’s college debt has risen by 45 percent to nearly $18,000, while the average Kentucky Head Start teacher starts out making less than $30,000 a year.

The College Cost Reduction Act, which Yarmuth was instrumental in crafting, will incentivize lower tuitions, increase maximum Pell Grants by $500 to $5,100, simplify the student aid application process, and increase limits federal loans while cutting their interest rates.

Kentucky will see an additional $211 million in added benefits, over five years, through additional Pell grants, student loans, and Academic Competitiveness/SMART Grants.  Under this legislation, the number of Kentucky students receiving Pell grants is expected to rise by more than 9,000 in that time.