Senator Lesser Hosts College Affordability Roundtable Discussion
Sen. Eric P. Lesser hosted a student roundtable discussion focused on college affordability at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) earlier this month. “We need to develop affordable pathways for every person seeking an education,” Sen. Lesser said. “Conversations like these are crucial in helping legislators, higher education institutions and community leaders make college affordability a reality for all Western Massachusetts families.”
After being introduced by STCC President Dr. Ira Rubenzahl, Sen. Lesser asked students to share their views on issues ranging from the current affordability of college to ways they believe we can improve the delivery of education for all students.
Last December Sen. Lesser wrote an op-ed on the importance of making higher education affordable and reducing student debt loads across Massachusetts. He also highlighted several bills under consideration in the Massachusetts Legislature. One would grant tax credits for investments in college savings funds, while another would provide full tuition, after financial aid and gift aid, for all residents who attend community college in Massachusetts.
Nationally, 40 million people owe more than $1.2 trillion in student loans. The average student debt load in Massachusetts has increased by nearly 75 percent over the past decade, from $17,000 to more than $29,000.