Walker Talks Student Debt

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Governor Scott Walker was at UW-La Crosse today to announce new legislation on college affordability. Fox 25/48’s Erin O’Brien has the details.

Governor Walker outlined several new proposals that he says will make higher education as affordable as possible.

He says he wants to remove the cap on tax deductible student loan interest, provide more need-based financial aid to students attending technical colleges, and provide more internships to students to help them find jobs more quickly after college.

“The cost of higher education over the past couple decades has gone up tremendously and some have argued as the federal government has put more money into student loan debt, that’s encouraged both public and private institutions to raise tuition over that time. What we’re trying to do is help offset that.”

But senate democrats say they’ve been unable to discuss with Governor Walker their own proposed legislation called Higher Ed, Lower Debt, which aims to help students and graduates refinance their student loans. 

“It’s not isolated to be a Wisconsin problem, it really is a national problem and in Wisconsin alone, over 800,000 people have about 19 billion dollars in student loans. So whatever we can do to help refinance it really makes sense.”

UW-La Crosse says their average student graduates with $25,800 of debt, just slightly lower than the UW System average.

The university says students still need more help graduating with less debt.

“If there were more resources available to students then we maybe wouldn’t see the indebtedness that we do. I think students are working more than they ever have been to supplement their cost of education and not borrowing as much.”

Walker says that keeping the cost of tuition down in the first place is one of the most important things the state should do. In La Crosse, Erin O’Brien, Fox 25/48 News at 9.

Governor Walker says he’ll give more details on the legislation at his state of the state address next week.

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