From her perch on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., weighed in on higher education costs and the scandal getting national attention as prominent CEOs and entertainers have been charged with offering bribes in order to get their children in some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities.
On Wednesday, the Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on “The Cost of College: Student-Centered Reforms to Bring Higher Education Within Reach” and Wilson noted that the timing of the scandal was “ironic.”
“How bitterly ironic it is that this hearing will take place the day after news broke about ‘Operation Varsity Blues,’ a national scandal in which wealthy parents, college coaches, and college prep officials conspired to get students into prestigious colleges,” Wilson said. “It underscores how much of a have-and-have-not nation we have become and how enormously unfair it is that the main thing keeping genuinely talented students out of college is money.”
Wilson stressed the rising costs of higher education this week.
“Like the rising cost of living that has prevented millions of hard-working Americans from achieving middle-class goals, the soaring cost of college tuitions is forcing countless young people and working adults from enrolling in college and/or ultimately earning a degree. According to Forbes magazine, ‘student loan debt is the second highest consumer debt category’ and has reached a crisis level for borrowers in all demographics and age groups,” her office noted before showcasing her own efforts. “Congresswoman Wilson has introduced and co-sponsored several pieces of legislation that aim to ease this burden. The Student Loan Borrowers’ Bill of Rights, for example, is a measure that would establish basic consumer protections, such as reasonable and flexible repayment options, access to earned credentials and effective loan cancellation in exchange for public service.”
Wilson weighed in on the importance of getting higher education costs under control.
“Earning a college degree is not the only path to success, but it is often the surest,” Wilson said. “I am committed to working with my fellow committee members to make access to higher education opportunities more affordable for all students, but especially for those who can’t afford to even dream about attending college because of cost.”
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.