New Duckworth Bill Would Protect Working Students, Help Make College More Affordable

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Seeking to curb the rising cost of higher education and limit the burden student loans place on young Americans, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08) introduced legislation to protect working students from unfair and unnecessary cuts to their financial aid. Under current federal law, students who choose to work their way through college are often penalized with reduced financial aid, meaning that they must work even more or take on additional student loan debt in order to finish school. The Congresswoman’s Working Students Act, which was introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in the Senate, would update the current statute to reflect modern costs of living as well as costs associated with attending college to help struggling students graduate without being forced further into debt. Duckworth’s Working Students Act would increase the amount of outside income students can earn without reducing their federal aid eligibility by 35 percent. Under the bill, a working single parent with two children could work to earn approximately $10,000 more each year without endangering their financial aid, an independent student could earn an additional $3,400 each year and a dependent student could earn $2,200 more before their income impacts their financial aid award.

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