Mass. Lawmakers May Look At Cost Of College

Ann McClure's picture
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

With nearly two-thirds of college students in Massachusetts carrying debt of about $25,000, concerns are growing about whether students and insitutions can keep up.

“That is one thing we are going to be looking at over hopefully this next year,” said Sen. Michael Moore, chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, who is concerned about the “the spiraling effect on the economy.”

Moore’s goal is to bring down costs to students to help reduce further debt. But any relief the State House might provide depends largely on Washington. With the continuing gridlock in Congress, the size of that aid is still up in the air.

“We have 117,000 students who receive Pell grants, so the loss of Pell grants is going to necessitate possibly more student loans,” said Moore, whose Worcester area district includes 13 colleges and universities. “We have 150,000 people who work in the higher education field, so now if we are going to see a loss of students, that means that they are going to have to necessitate laying people off or downsizing their work force.”

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