Congressman Francis Rooney introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act along with Senator Mike Lee to promote alternatives to 4-year college, cap federal student loans, and hold colleges and universities accountable to student success.
Congressman Rooney stated, “Student tuition inflated 439% between 1982 and 2007, in part due to the excess of federal loans available. A 2015 study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that for each additional dollar the federal government allows students to borrow, colleges and universities increase their tuition by 60 cents. The HERO Act would streamline Federal Student Loans and create caps to ensure that students can afford their education, and pay back their loans once they graduate.
“Further, education policy should be dictated at the local and state levels, and not by an out of touch bureaucracy in Washington. Many students have aptitudes and career goals that do not require and are not enhanced by college. Perhaps this is why only about one-half of college students today manage to graduate within six years. Higher education should respond to the needs of our economy and today’s job market. This legislation allows states to accredit innovative non-traditional programs like online courses, apprenticeships, or vocational schools to better prepare today’s students for the modern workforce.”
The HERO Act
• Caps undergraduate student loans at $30,000 with a 15-year repayment period
• Caps graduate students loans at $40,000 with a 25-year repayment period
• Introduces reporting measures on whether students graduate on time, how burdened by debt students are after obtaining their degrees, and the success rate for graduates in a particular major at obtaining jobs that enable them to pay back their loans
• Requires that universities repay 10 percent of the student default amount (minus the Federal unemployment rate)