Rubio calls on colleagues to examine higher education issues

Earlier Wednesday, the Senate failed to end debate on a motion to proceed to S. 1238, which would have extended the rate of 3.4 percent for need-based student loans. Democrats said the one-year extension was needed because larger higher education issues needed to be addressed in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which expires this year.

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Rubio, who voted against the student loan bill, said the issue is more complex than tuition and interest rates. He said senators should also examine how colleges are accredited, online course work and increase support for community colleges and technical schools to meet the demands of the job market.

“The current system is broken,” Rubio said. “We need to have answers to this, so I hope we will spend some time thinking about how we accredit colleges, and how we implement our student loan program.”

Rubio said he has a bill, the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act that would require colleges to publish how much it would cost to finish a degree at the institution and how much the average person with that degree will make after graduating so students can decide if that degree and college are the cost-effective choice.