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Senator pledges to ‘break up the higher education monopoly’ with new laws

Politician would also extend resources to ‘job-training and certification programs’

A United States senator has vowed to take on the “higher education monopoly” while also providing nontraditional educational institutions with significant resources.

Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, “is introducing two pieces of legislation this week that will expand federal aid for people pursuing vocational education and will put higher education institutions on the hook for students unable to repay student loans,” his office stated in a press release.

“[W]e have a system that preferences students who want to attend a four-year college over Americans who want to learn a skill,” Hawley stated, claiming that the current system “protects higher education institutions that have been padding their endowments with taxpayer money while they raise tuition.”

Hawley’s two proposed bills would address these purported defects. One would “make more job-training and certification programs, like employer-based apprenticeships and digital boot camps, eligible to receive Pell Grants through an alternative accreditation process.” This policy would “reduce reliance on debt and maximize opportunities for students to pursue their dreams.”

The second, more significant bill would force colleges to foot the bill for students who default on their loans:

[The law] will require institutions of higher education to have skin in the game when it comes to cost and student outcomes by requiring them to repay a portion of the loan balance of students who are unable to repay their debt.

This bill requires colleges and universities to pay off 50 percent of the balance of student loans accrued while attending their institution for students who default, and forbids them from increasing the cost of attendance to offset their liability.

“It’s time to break up the higher education monopoly. It’s time to level the playing field and provide more options for career training,” Hawley said in his press release.

Read the release here.

MORE: At this vocational college, you pay nothing until you land a $50K job

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