OLYMPIA - Colleges and universities will have to do more to inform students about the realities and responsibilities of financial aid under a bill approved Saturday by the Washington State Senate.
Senate Bill 6121 will require colleges and universities to provide financial aid counseling to assist students as they seek the money to pay for their education.
“This is something that is very necessary. We have to make sure that students understand what they are getting into,” said Sen. David Frockt, the bill’s sponsor. “One example from Western Washington University shows student loan debt in the last three or four years increasing by 20 percent. With cuts in higher education funding and the shift of responsibility to students and their families, we are experiencing a student loan debt crisis.”
The curriculum will include student loan performance requirements and repayment rules, an overview of financial literacy, including basic money management skills, and perspectives from a diverse group of students who have received financial aid in the past.
“This will provide better qualitative information to students on how much debt they taking on, repayment plans and better understanding of interest rates,” said Frockt. “This way students can calibrate their studies accordingly.
The bill received bipartisan support and now moves to the House of Representatives.
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For more information: Ian Cope, Senate Democratic Caucus, 360-786-7535
For interviews: Sen. David Frockt, 360-786-7690