Culpeper Star-Exponent: Simplifying student loan borrowing: GCC backs Spanberger bill for greater transparency

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT

Germanna Community College leadership is part of a growing number of voices in Virginia secondary education who are backing reintroduction of a 2019 federal bill seeking to increase federal student loan transparency.

The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would give students additional tools to understand and decrease their student debt burdens, according to a release on Monday from bill sponsor, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th.

The measure would require monthly disclosures to student borrowers on projected payments, accrued interest, total cost of attendance, and other personalized details—in understandable terms. The bill would require regular disclosures throughout the life of a federal student loan.

Germanna Community College President Dr. Janet Gullickson in a statement said they enthusiastically endorse the reintroduced legislation.

“Students often borrow without full knowledge of the terms and conditions attached to student loans. For example, is this a private loan or federally subsidized?” she said. “What happens if payments aren’t made on time? Can part of the loan be forgiven through public service?”

Spanberger’s legislation simplifies student loan borrowing, Gullickson said.

“The Act will put these disclosure responsibilities where they belong—with lenders. Creating and disseminating clear information for students and their families will assist in preventing financial ruin for many,” she said.

George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College and University of Mary Washington also announced support for the legislation on Monday.

“Congresswoman Spanberger’s bill would provide much needed simplicity and transparency to the student loan process and is a welcome step for students and their families,” said Dr. Mark Ginsberg, Provost, George Mason University.

Dr. Anne M. Kress, President, Northern Virginia Community College, said to make educated financial decisions, college students need timely, clear, and easily understood information about loans. The Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act would provide just that, she said.

If enacted, the measure will empower students to know and understand the terms of student loans, increasing transparency and helping advance their education, said Dr. Troy D. Paino, University of Mary Washington president.

“Thank you to Representative Abigail Spanberger for championing its re-introduction,” he said.

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