I'm writing to urge you to oppose the PROSPER Act, which would make it harder and more expensive for students to earn a quality certificate or degree. The bill would charge students at least $19 billion more in student loan interest, and increase income-based loan payments by at least $15 billion. On top of devastating cuts to federal financial aid, the PROSPER Act allocates billions of dollars to low-quality programs that leave students worse off.
Students and taxpayers deserve better than the PROSPER Act. At a time when millions of low-income and other vulnerable students are already struggling to afford college, it is imperative that any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act put students first.
I urge you to reject the harmful vision laid out in the PROSPER Act, and instead work to:
1) Invest in student financial aid, including significantly increasing the Pell Grant, which currently covers just 28% of the cost of attending a four-year public college, and making student loans more affordable.
2) Protect current accountability standards that ensure student and taxpayer dollars don't freely flow to low-quality and even deceptive schools and programs.
I appreciate your attention to this important issue at a critical time for our nation's higher education system, and hope you will vote NO on the PROSPER Act.