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Welcome Back Arizona Students!

Dear Friend,

As Arizona students head back to school, we want to highlight some of our work in Congress to support Arizona’s colleges and universities and make higher education more affordable and accessible for Arizonans.

While previous generations could take a part-time job that allowed them to graduate from a four-year institution with minimal or no debt, this generation struggles with skyrocketing college costs and stagnated wages. In Arizona and around the country, college costs continue to rise faster than family incomes, making it more difficult to afford an education and requiring students to take out extensive loans. The resulting student loan debt makes it challenging to spend, save, invest, or start a business.

Advancements in technology and an increasingly competitive global economy make developing the right skills more important than ever, but Arizonans must be able to afford it. The bipartisan budget agreement we passed earlier this year protects funding for Pell Grants and re-institutes year-round eligibility, so students can once again use Pell Grant funding to pay for summer classes. I also joined Congressman Scott Peters of California in introducing H.R. 2718, the Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act of 2017. This bill lowers interest rates on all new federal student loans to 4%. If an individual has multiple federal student loans, the bill would allow also him or her to consolidate and refinance to pay the average of the loan interest rates or 4%, whichever is lower.

In addition to scholarships and student loans, we’re working to expand access to dual enrollment programs, which allow high school students to get college credit for some of their classes through partnerships with community colleges or universities. We cosponsored the Jumpstart on College Act, which makes grants available for high school students to pay for dual or concurrent enrollment programs. This allows students to make the most of their time in the classroom and save money on their education so they can graduate on time and get ahead.

Education was my ticket to the middle class, but for too many Arizona families, a quality education is increasingly out of reach. As someone who was only able to afford college because of Pell Grants and federal student aid, I know we must work together to protect and expand educational opportunities for our students while also ensuring our colleges and universities are good stewards of taxpayer dollars. I will continue fighting to increase investment in both K-12 and higher education to ensure our kids are prepared for the jobs of the future. I am committed to working with members of both parties to find reasonable solutions that tackle rising college costs and expand economic opportunity for Arizona students and families. 

We are honored to serve in Congress on behalf of Arizona families like yours. We always appreciate hearing from you on current topics and issues that are important to you. If there is an issue that concerns you, please let us know by clicking this link or by calling our Phoenix office: 602-956-2285. Be sure to stay connected through our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and let us know how we can be of service.

Sincerely,

Kyrsten
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