Barletta Votes to Empower Students
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) voted for H.R. 1635, the Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act. H.R. 1635, which passed the House by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 406 to 4, would provide enhanced financial counseling for federal student aid recipients, ensuring they are able to choose the higher education path best suited for them.
“I was the first in my family to go to college, and I want all Americans to have that same opportunity,” Barletta said after passage. “With that being said, Americans carry more than a trillion dollars in student debt, despite the six types of federal student loans, nine repayment plans, eight forgiveness programs, and 32 deferment and forbearance options out there. Today, I was proud to vote for H.R. 1635 and provide American students and their families with better counseling for federal financial aid, ensuring any loan counseling they receive is tailored specifically to their personal situation.”
H.R. 1635 would ensure borrowers, both students and parents, have the most up-to-date information by requiring financial counseling before an individual signs on a dotted line. Importantly, the bill would require annual counseling to include recommendations for students to exhaust available grant, work-study, and scholarship assistance before taking out loans. H.R. 1635 would also require all recipients of Pell Grants to undergo annual counseling including everything from the terms and conditions of their grant, to the approved educational expenses the grant can be applied to, to how a student may seek additional assistance due to a change in his or her financial circumstances. The measure would also bolster exit counseling, empowering borrowers to make smart financial decisions as they leave school and begin to repay their college loan commitments.