Representative wants to keep college affordable
Guest-viewpoint by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)
Whether it is your first semester or last, I applaud your decision to become a Ranger.
San Antonio College is about opportunity. I was pleased to join President Robert Vela and community partners to commemorate 90 years of serving students and the community.
There are many milestones to celebrate, like the record number of graduates crossing the stage at the May 2016 commencement and being recognized by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics as a bright spot in Hispanic education.
As you return to classes, I know your campus is full of active, engaged students, many of whom I have met with or who have interned in my office just off West Travis Street.
A lifetime of civic involvement often begins in the college years, and showing your support for higher education is a great way to engage so that SAC continues to be a bright spot for our veterans, families and community.
You have much at stake in Washington. Last November, the Higher Education Act, the first piece of national legislation aimed at reducing college costs, celebrated its 50th anniversary.
When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed this landmark law, he said that it was to ensure that the “path of knowledge is open to all that have the determination to walk it.”
While this legislation improved college affordability at the time, half a century later too many of our students face financial obstacles to furthering their education, and many more leave with a mountain of debt. We face big challenges from those who do not believe in federal aid to education and who oppose adequate funding for student aid. I believe that an investment in you is an investment in the future of America.
To keep interest rates low and financial aid high, one of the first changes that must be made is lowering high interest rates on federal student loans. I have supported legislation to avoid the doubling of interest rates on federal loans and to continue adequate funding for Pell Grants and other types of federal student financial assistance.
I also authored the “More Education” tax credit, also known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit so that students and families receive a tax cut by up to $10,000 on education expenses such as tuition, textbooks and fees.
Throughout your time at SAC, I look forward to seeing you, whether it is at school, a local event in the community, or when I hold my “neighborhood office hours” and visit with constituents about whatever federal issue they want to discuss.
I also encourage students to get involved as interns in my San Antonio or Washington, D.C., offices. If you want to help me serve our community, then email your cover letter and résumé to my San Antonio district director at MaryEllen.Veliz@mail.house.gov.
Share information about how student loan debt after graduation will affect you so I can share your thoughts, stories and ideas with my colleagues.
For other ways to communicate, see my website at www.Doggett.House.Gov.
Let me hear from you. I wish you a successful year.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) represents the 35th Congressional District.