Davis Votes to Empower Students and Improve Financial Aid Counseling Programs
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) this week voted to empower students and families through financial literacy and to enhance financial aid counseling programs for federal student aid recipients. H.R. 1635, the Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, overwhelmingly passed the House by a vote of 406 to 4.
"My two boys are seniors in high school and as my wife Shannon and I take them to visit colleges this year, we know picking a school is a big decision for any family and figuring out costs can be difficult," said Davis. "This bipartisan bill will provide federal student aid recipients with yearly access to enhanced financial counseling. By making sure students, who for many this is their first major financial decision, know what financing options are available, how much they will owe, and what their average monthly payments will be before they sign on that dotted line, we will help students make more informed decisions and hopefully lower the amount of student debt. Student debt has grown exponentially and we have to address it from every angle."
Know before you owe
H.R. 1635, the Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act provides students and parents who participate in the federal loan program annual counseling to ensure borrowers are aware of their financial options and obligations. Additionally, H.R. 1635 requires borrowers to consent each year before receiving federal student loans. Currently, financial counseling is only required when the initial loan is taken out and furthermore, no counseling is provided to students who receive a Pell Grant or parents who take out federal loans to help pay for their children's education.
Working with schools to address costs
Davis, who represents eight colleges and universities, as well as eight community college districts, continues to work with them to address the rising cost of college. Whether it’s by addressing unnecessary regulations, providing more flexibility to higher education, and encouraging them to work internally to reduce costs for students, making college affordable has been a priority. More can be found here.
Helping students pay down debt
Davis has introduced H.R. 795, the Employer Participation in Refinancing Act, to help individuals pay down their student loans. The legislation would provide a new tool to help employers recruit and retain employees by allowing them to help qualified employees repay student loans with pre-tax dollars. Click here for more information.