Failure to act on student loan interest rates highlights Congress’s continued disfunction

Hatch memeSalt Lake City – In light of Congress’s failure to prevent an increase in student loan rates, progressive advocacy group Alliance for a Better UTAH has released the following statement. Data on Utah’s own congressional delegation’s college costs can be found after the statement.

“Utah’s delegation, with the exception of Congressman Jim Matheson, has once again abdicated its responsibility to America’s youth. The generational gap between college graduates and Congress is the greatest it has been in decades and it has become clear now that that gap is seriously affecting the ability of legislative leaders to relate to the needs of perhaps their most important constituency.

“Ideally, public higher education should be a fully-funded investment, not a privilege reserved for what is left of the middle class. But while our leaders claim they are powerless to stop the out-of-control rise of college costs, they are at least in the position to make sure that, despite those rising costs, college remains accessible through low student loan rates. Congress’s shameful failure to act is one more moment that, in its effects, continues to erode confidence in American institutions of governance.”

Just how out of touch are our elected leaders? Here’s a quick look at the cost of education, in 2012 Dollars, when members of Utah’s congressional delegation went to college.

  • Orrin Hatch, 1959, Bachelor of Science, BYU – No data available
  • Rob Bishop, 1974, Bachelor of Arts, U of U – $7,972
  • Jim Matheson, 1982, Bachelor of Arts, Harvard – $16,745
  • Chris Stewart, 1984, Bachelor of Science, Utah State – $7,510
  • Jason Chaffetz, 1989, Bachelor of Arts, BYU – $21,048
  • Mike Lee, 1994, Bachelor of Science, BYU – $24,504

Current 4-year private – $39,518
Current 4-year public – $17,860

*Data is based on data from national, 4-year schools, and on whether the school is private or public. Dollars are in 2012 Dollars. Data includes tuition, fees, room, and board.

Source: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges

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Alliance for a Better UTAH |  801.557.1532   | www.betterutah.org
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The Alliance for a Better UTAH is a year-round, multi-issue education and advocacy organization providing resources, commentary, and action on important public policy matters.

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