(SACRAMENTO) – Today, the Assembly Committee on Higher Education approved Assembly Bill 140 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) by a vote of 8 to 2. AB 140 would create the California “Kickstart My Future” Loan Forgiveness Program which would provide qualified recent college graduates with relief from federal student loans for up to 24 months after graduation.
The growing burden of student debt faced by recent college graduates remains an ongoing issue in California. The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) found that the average percentage of students in debt is 50 percent, with a total debt average of $22,785 per graduate. Student loan companies often provide recent graduates with a 6-month grace period before their loan payments are required to begin. However, this grace period is generally an insufficient amount of time for many recent graduates, who are often faced with difficulties entering the workforce.
“Too often, student debt threatens to hold back our recent graduates just as they are beginning to enter the workforce. AB 140 will provide them with more time to enter and adjust to the workforce before taking on the daunting task of paying down their federal student debt,” Assemblymember Cervantes said. “We must do all that we can to ensure that our college graduates are not saddled with a burden of debt that stands in the way of their career and life goals and hinders their upward mobility.”