INDIANAPOLIS – Yesterday, students from Indiana State University joined local leaders to reject Congressman Todd Young for his plans that would make college less affordable, including slashing the Pell grant program, increasing student loan rates, and opposing efforts to allow students to refinance student loans.
In contrast, students praised Evan Bayh, who “would bring to the Senate a common sense approach, the same type that resulted in the successful 21st Century Scholars program right here in Indiana.”
College and community young Democrats gathered Wednesday at Indiana State University to criticize the voting record of Republican Congressman Todd Young on issues related to college affordability.
They praised the record of Evan Bayh, a Democrat, and urged support for his U.S. Senate candidacy. Young and Bayh are battling for the senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring.
Michael Shepard, ISU student and president of ISU College Democrats and Curtis DeBaun II, Terre Haute City Council member, spoke during a news conference conducted in front of the Bayh College of Education.
They said Young has supported efforts to cut Pell grants and raise student loan interest rates that can cost as much as a semester at an Indiana university. They also said Young opposed efforts to allow students to refinance their student loan interest rates, which would help bring down the costs of their loans.
DeBaun, who earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees at ISU, said Young’s ideas on student loans and college affordability “are simply wrong.” Young supported a plan to index student loan rates to 10-year Treasury note yields, which is disconnected from a student’s ability to pay a loan, DeBaun said. “It’s subject to volatility and likely to rise in the future.”
DeBaun also charged Young has voted to keep student loan interest rates high, and he has voted against allowing students to refinance their loans at a lower rate.
“Congressman Todd Young would force students to spend more time paying off their loans rather than starting their lives purchasing cars and houses, starting their own businesses and contributing to the Hoosier economy,” DeBaun said.
Shepard, who comes from a working class family, said he is relying on student loans to pay for his college education. His mom has leukemia and his younger brother, who will attend college next year, also has health problems. Many other students he knows are taking out student loans and face potentially high debt when they graduate.
Young’s education plan and legislation he has supported “would not help any students out at all,” Shepard said. Bayh, on the other hand, “has stood for policies that will help students.”
DeBaun said Bayh “would bring to the Senate a common sense approach, the same type that resulted in the successful 21st Century Scholars program right here in Indiana. … Evan Bayh will fight to protect Pell Grant funding and lower student loan interest rates.”