Senator Joe Robach Backs College Affordability Plan
Senator Joe Robach, standing up for middle-class families and students, has pledged his support for the 2012 College Affordability Plan. Over the past several years, the costs of higher education have risen greatly, with the percentage increase in college tuition and fees outpacing the growth of median family income by a ratio of nearly 3:1. As a result, student loan debt has shot up past one trillion dollars, surpassing the amount of credit card debt owed by Americans. Simply put, the rising price of higher education has become a considerable financial burden on college students and their families.
Senator Joe Robach's support of the 2012 College Affordability Plan stems from his desire to make the rapidly increasing costs of college education more affordable for college-bound students and their families. The plan, as outlined by members of New York's Senate Majority Conference, accomplishes this goal through a number of effective proposals. In order to help make college expenses more affordable, the plan would increase the current tax deduction from $10,000 to $20,000 and raise the maximum tax credit from $400 to $800.
These credits and deductions would be pegged to a Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) to ensure that the benefits persist through inflationary pressures. Further, the plan would establish a new $100 million Linked Deposit Student Loan Program that would provide loans of up to $7,500 at rates up to 50 percent lower than those typically offered by banks. In addition to these measures, the plan aims to empower families with valuable financial information, provided by a newly-created Department of Financial Services, and with the option to pre-pay tuition for SUNY and CUNY schools. Finally, the plan would create a new "Stay-In-New-York" tax credit that would reward qualified graduates who stay and work in New York State for at least four years after graduation with relief of up to $12,000 over four years.
The 2012 College Affordability Plan outlines a number of impressive proposals that would do much to alleviate the growing financial burden placed upon middle-class students and families by the rapidly increasing cost of a higher education. In pledging his support of the plan, Senator Joe Robach, who earlier this year sponsored legislation creating an Empire State internship program for secondary school students (S.495) and removing restrictions for home schooling students (S.561), has demonstrated his continued commitment to improving the accessibility and utility of higher education.