In recent years, average college tuition rates have been increasing faster than inflation and outpacing student financial aid. Sky-rocketing tuitions are making it increasingly difficult for families to afford higher education.
Senator Leahy is a firm believer in the importance of a college education, as well as the doors it can open for a person’s future. He believes no student should be denied the opportunities of a college education because of their family’s financial resources. That is why Senator Leahy is a consistent supporter of financial aid programs and providing students with access to affordable loans, increasing funding for Pell Grants and federal work-study programs.
Senator Leahy believes that the federal government must rise to the challenge and improve our financial aid programs to ensure that college is an affordable option for all qualified students. He was proud to cosponsor the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would have provided for the refinancing of certain federal student loans, and and he was also a proud cosponsor of the Student Loan Affordability Act, which would have extended reduced interest rates for recipients of Federal Direct Stafford Loans.
- TRIO / GEAR UP
The federal TRIO programs and the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) are two programs that provide critical services and incentives to disadvantaged students to help increase their secondary or postsecondary educational goals. Senator Leahy has long supported the TRIO and GEAR UP programs and their efforts to increase disadvantage students’ secondary school completion and postsecondary enrollment.
- Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal Pell Grant Program authorized by the Higher Education Act (HEA) is the single largest source of grant aid for post-secondary education. Pell Grants are need-based aid intended to be the foundation for all federal student aid awarded to undergraduates. Senator Leahy has vigorously fought for funding and support for the Pell Grant Program.