Castor discusses College Cost Reduction Act

01/14/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

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Last September, President George Bush signed into law the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. This afternoon, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee counties, explained the act to about 40 students on the Dale Mabry campus of Hillsborough Community College.

Castor said the new law would raise Pell Grants to about $5,400 over the next five years, the first time in over a decade the amount has been raised. She called this and the other aspects of the bill good news for students at HCC and other colleges.

Another component of the new bill is tuition reimbursement for students who commit to a career of public service, Castor said.

According to Castor, taxes would not be raised to pay for this package of financial aid for students.

“Let me say it’s a historic investment in college aid, the largest investment since the G.I. Bill in 1944 under President [F.D.] Roosevelt, at no new cost to taxpayers because we targeted the subsidies to the student loan companies.”

One educational initiative that was not included in the new law is what is known as the Dream Act. Castor said that the new president will have to work with Congress to allow all students access to financial aid regardless of their immigration status.

WMNF spoke to some Hillsborough Community College students to see if this law would make financing college easier.

Student government senator Curt Wadsworth said it’s getting harder to afford college.

Learn more:

H.R. 2669: College Cost Reduction and Access Act

Guide to Federal Student Aid

Tax Benefits for Education and HOPE Scholarship

Applying for the Pell Grant

Guide for adults returning to college

Rep. Kathy Castor

Hillsborough Community College

Photo credit: Seán Kinane/WMNF

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