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Yarmuth's Provision to Incentivize Public Service Approved as Part of Landmark College Cost Reduction Act

$18 Billion Investment in Higher Ed is Largest since G.I. Bill,
No New Cost to Tax Payer

(Washington, DC) Today, with Congressman John Yarmuth’s (KY-3) strong support, the House of Representatives passed the College Cost Reduction Act, the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill.  The bill authorizes $18 billion over five years to aid students and recent graduates without any additional cost to taxpayers.

“The legislation is classically American, rewarding work with increased Pell Grants, leveling the playing field by expanding tuition assistance, and fostering opportunity by helping graduates out of crippling debt,” Congressman Yarmuth said today.

The bill will incentivize lower tuitions, increase maximum Pell Grants by $500 to $5,100, simplify the student aid application process, and increase limits on federal loans while slashing federal interest rates in half. In addition, Yarmuth authored a provision that will incentivize public service by rewarding first responders, law enforcement officers, nurses, librarians, highly-qualified teachers in hard-to-staff schools, child care workers, and other public servants with $1,000 of college loan forgiveness each year for the first five years in their fields. 

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

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 earning less than $30,000 a year.

Under this legislation, Kentucky will see an additional $211 million in added benefits, over five years, through additional Pell grants, student loans, and Academic Competitiveness/SMART Grants.  The number of Kentucky students receiving Pell grants is also expected to rise by more than 9,000 in that time and more than 140,000 Kentucky students should save money over all.