U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., scored a win on Wednesday as the U.S. House passed without opposition her amendment helping transfer students understand the impact changing schools has on their student loans.
Murphy explained why she had brought out the proposal.
“As a former college instructor, I know that far too many students are struggling with excessive debt that hurts their ability to succeed when they graduate,” said Murphy. “My initiative will empower students to make the best academic and financial decisions for their future, putting fewer students in the position of having transferred only to find out that very few of the credits they worked so hard to earn will count towards their degree. From allowing federal loans to be renegotiated to increasing funding for Pell Grants, I will keep fighting to empower students and to make higher education more affordable for more families.”
“Currently, students who take out federal loans to finance their education are limited to borrowing up to a certain aggregate amount,” the congresswoman’s office noted. “Murphy’s amendment would ensure that a student borrower who wishes to transfer to another institution is provided with a clear and concise explanation that the loans he or she has received up to that point will count towards their aggregate loan limit, regardless of whether all the course credits they have completed are accepted by the school to which they seek to transfer.”
Murphy took to the House floor on Wednesday and looked at how her proposal would impact her Central Florida district. After upsetting U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who served almost 25 years in Congress, two years ago, Murphy is a top Republican target in November. State Rep. Mike Miller, R-Orlando, won the Republican primary last week and will face Murphy in the general election.
“I believe my amendment will be particularly helpful to students who are enrolled in community or state colleges and are seeking to transfer to a four-year program,” Murphy said. “Many students who live in my central Florida district are in precisely this position. Notably, the University of Central Florida—which I am proud to represent—has established a strong transfer program in partnership with six state and community colleges throughout Florida, including Valencia College and Seminole State College in my district. The program is called ‘DirectConnect to UCF.’ In general, it guarantees students admission if they have earned an associate degree from a partner college, and the credits earned by the student at the partner college typically transfer to UCF. This is exactly the sort of transfer program that my amendment will encourage students to utilize.
“Collectively, Americans owe a crushing $1.4 trillion dollars in student debt,” she added. “As someone who is still paying off her own student loans, I know there is far more we can and should do to ensure that students are not saddled with excessive debt and are prepared to succeed after graduation. Nevertheless, I am encouraged that we are taking a step in the right direction today by considering this important legislation. By increasing transparency in the student loan process as it relates to credit transfers, we will provide our students with the information they need to make the best educational and financial decisions for themselves.”
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