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After a report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group showed a dramatic rise in student debt, State Representatives Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis) today called on the Governor and other state leaders to take dramatic steps to help college students and their families afford a college education.
"Not only is it unfair that students and their families are amassing more in debt, but this trend also hurts the very fabric of our society," Clark said. "What message do we send when students leave college with $20,000 in debt? What impact will this have on their ability to get ahead, support their families, buy a home, and invest in our economy when they're stuck still paying for their education 20 years from now?"
Clark said the last four years of under-funding higher education at the state and federal levels has hurt our families and our economy.
"In my own Minneapolis community, we learned that student debt is rising three times faster than the cost of living. This is a statewide problem deeply impacting rural, suburban and urban families – both low income and middle class families," she said.
Clark added the state should look at new ways to stop the continued increase in debt despite limited resources.
"The reality is that we don't have a bottomless pit of money, so it's critical that what we do invest focuses on students and helps them pay for college without saddling them with so much debt. If we don't, we risk damaging the long-term ability of our state and citizens to compete economically in the global economy," Clark said.
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