Tester: Time to ‘shine more light’ on college loan industry

Senator pushes for more affordable higher education for Montana families

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – It's time to clean up the college loan industry and make higher education more affordable for Montana families, Senator Jon Tester said today during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Tester and his colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee this morning heard testimony from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo about his investigation of abusive college lending practices.

"Going to college should be getting easier, not harder, for kids who want to go," Tester said. "We need to shine more light on student lending practices to make sure students understand what they're getting into and that they are protected."

Tester also told the Committee that when he went to college 30 years ago, he didn't have to take out any loans.  His two children, however, had to borrow money to pay for college.

Earlier this year, Tester helped pass a much-needed increase in the federal Pell Grant, the first increase in four years. And Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer recently signed legislation freezing Montana college tuition for the next two years.

"Jon and I are working hard to make sure college is affordable for all Montanans, just as it was for folks like us a generation ago," Schweitzer said.  "Higher education is a top priority in our book.  It leads to more jobs, a better economy and stronger communities across our state."