January 21, 2014

Brockton Enterprise: Sen. Elizabeth Warren: students being 'crushed' by loan debt

In a meeting with students at Massasoit Community College in Brockton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said: 'We can't let student loans kill people's enthusiasm. We can't let it kill their hopes. We can't let it kill their dreams.'

By: Ed Donga
January 21, 2014

BROCKTON-  With student loan debt reaching $1.2 trillion nationwide, Marisa Cox, has taken to working not one, not two, but six jobs as she tries to make ends meet while attending Massasoit Community College.

A typical day for Cox usually starts with her liberal arts classes at Massasoit, followed by work at a day-care center, nursing home or one of her other jobs, before she finishes the day with homework and studying. Cox added that sometimes her studies can keep her up until 4 a.m. after getting home from work.

Cox, 18, of Norwell, was also one of about 50 students in attendance on Tuesday when Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., came to Massasoit to discuss financial obstacles facing students.

"We now have students who are being crushed by student loan debt," said Warren, during a question-and-answer session with students.

During the event, Warren expressed her intention to file legislation that would allow students to refinance their student loan debt.

The senator added that universities must also "have some skin in the game" when it comes to student loans.

To that end, Warren is a co-sponsoring legislation filed by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., that would require universities involved in the federal government's direct student loan program to make a risk-sharing payment equal to a percentage of the total debt owed by their students who are in default.

For their part, the students in attendance were all too cognizant of the economic hurdles standing between them and a college degree.

"I feel like it's impacting the ability for students who have the intelligence and have that hard work ethic to be able to do what they want to do," said Cox during an exchange with Warren.

The concern was a mutual.

"We can't let student loans kill people's enthusiasm. We can't let it kill their hopes. We can't let it kill their dreams," Warren said.

Read the full story here.