Sen. Baldwin announces two college affordability bills

Bills aim to expand eligibility for federal aid, limit debt

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is leading the charge in making college more affordable.

Senator Baldwin announced two bills Tuesday designed to address student debt and college affordability.

One of the bills would increase the amount working students can earn without that income being counted against them when it comes to getting financial aid. The other would extend financial aid eligibility to those in short-term career and technical education programs.

Both are designed to make it easier for students to get grants, rather than depending on loans.

Nearly 40 million Americans have outstanding loan debt, totaling more than $1.2 trillion.

Baldwin says that debt makes it hard to buy things like homes and cars, and forces students to make other tough decisions.

“It also impacts the careers they choose,” said Baldwin. “If you have very hefty monthly payments on your student loans, there’s certain things you may feel passionately about — like public service — that you might forgo for something that pays more.”

The two bills are just the latest measures proposed by Senator Baldwin to lower the cost of college. In July, she also introduced the America’s College Promise Act, which would make two years of community or technical college free for all Americans.