Story by Noor Alahmadi, reporter
Student debt is a looming black cloud affecting many students in America. According to the U.S. Department of Education, student loan interest rates have gone down about one-third of a percent in the last year from 4.66% to 4.29%, which according to Blake Ellis with CNN Money Investigations, is still crippling forty million Americans.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett attended a student press conference at the Highland Campus Sept. 4, to speak about H.R. 1260, The American Opportunity Tax Credit Act of 2015, a bill which he is both the author and sponsor.
“It’s a $2,500 tax credit,” Doggett said. “If you do not have that much in taxes, you will get $1,000 refund.”
The main goal of this act is to allow students to receive a college diploma without being accompanied with a mountain of debt. Debt restricts students’ choices and Doggett believes that it ought to be possible for people to renegotiate their interest rates just like on other kinds of loans and prevent debt from piling up.
With the upcoming primaries and ultimately the Presidential election, candidates have been offering up their own solutions to the rise in student debt. Hillary Clinton’s approach mirrors Doggett’s when it comes to thesoftening of student debt.
“For those who already have student debt, my plan will give you the chance to refinance at lower interest rates,” Clinton said.
Doggett said he would like to do more, but must be practical.
“I have mixed feelings about providing free college to every- one as our first priority. I would like everybody to be able to get all the education they want, but knowing how limited our resources are, I want to see it focused on those with the biggest obstacles.”
Doggett said there will be another attempt at perfecting this bill in 2017, should he be re-elected.