STATEMENT BY AASCU PRESIDENT, MILDRED GARCÍA, ED.D., ON DEBT-FREE COLLEGE ACT

March 22, 2018

I applaud Senator Schatz and the original cosponsors of the Debt-Free College Act for offering a legislative solution to the college-cost problem that correctly identifies state disinvestment in public higher education as the greatest threat to college affordability. Their proposed federal-state matching grant program providing for debt-free college could reverse decades of privatization by aligning federal, state and individual incentives.

AASCU believes the federal-state partnership is critically important to the future of public higher education in our nation. Nearly four million students attend our schools, which last year alone awarded more than 550 thousand bachelor’s degrees, representing nearly half of all bachelor’s degrees granted at four-year public colleges and universities in the United States.

AASCU institutions are steadfast in their commitment to quality, access and affordability, and AASCU stands ready to work with Senator Schatz and his colleagues as they continue to improve upon their landmark legislation.

###

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities(AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.