Immediately after President Obama’s State of the Union Address, United States Student Association President Gregory Cendana issued the following statement:
“The United States Student Association (USSA) applauds President Obama’s emphasis on higher education in his first State of the Union address. It is essential for the federal government to prioritize college affordability at a time when almost two-thirds of all four-year college graduates leave school an average of over $23,000 in debt into the worst job market on record for young people. Hopefully, his strong support for student aid reform will ignite action in the Senate and help to pass a companion bill to the historic Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which passed the House of Representatives in September.
Additionally, by capping federal student loan repayments at 10 percent of a borrower’s discretionary income and lessening the time it takes to forgive student loan debt from 25 to 20 years, recent graduates will have more stability to build a financially secure post-collegiate life. His announcement that federal education spending will increase 6.2 percent in the fiscal year 2011 budget shows his administration’s devotion to students and the future prosperity of the United States.
These federal actions are necessary as state governments nationwide continue to balance their budgets on the backs of students. The past year has seen unprecedented divestment from higher education through shortsighted budget cuts and tuition and fee hikes. This fiscal irresponsibility requires deeper and broader federal investment in college affordability that must not stop at the passage of student aid reform and a strengthened loan-repayment system. The federal government must recognize college access as a fundamental human right and a prudent pathway to economic stability. Students across the country are expecting elected officials to keep their promises to invest in higher education and USSA will continue to organize around these issues as we gear up for our studentsVOTE 2010! campaign.”
The annual State of the Student Union Address will be aired on YouTube and the USSA website next Wednesday, February 3, 2010. More information will be provided later this week.