On Thursday, July 10, a bipartisan bill introduced by Congressman Brett Guthrie was marked up and passed by the House Committee on Education & the Workforce.
“Higher education is a dream held by many of today’s youth,” said Guthrie during the committee markup. “With the rising cost of attaining a college degree, many students need financial assistance to make that dream a reality. Some students, however, simply don’t understand the financial undertaking and its impact on their future, or know that they have the ability to borrow less than they are offered.”
H.R. 4984, the Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, will reform the current guidelines to require annual counseling for student borrowers. Through this, students will be empowered with the knowledge necessary to understand what they are borrowing, which financial options to draw from first, the implication of their future debt load, repayment scenarios, and other valuable information. Schools that equipped students with similar information saw double-digit reductions in student loan debt.
“We need to better equip student borrowers with the knowledge to make sound financial decisions while pursuing their education, and I’m glad to have the support of so many of my fellow committee members today,” said Guthrie.