(SACRAMENTO) - Today, the Assembly Committee on Higher Education approved Assembly Bill 1767 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) by a vote of 9 to 3. AB 1767 will provide recent college graduates with relief from federal student loans for up to two years 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 for a California graduate at public and private non-profit colleges is 54 percent, with a total debt average of $22,191 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.
In order to help address the growing problem of college student debt, the State of New York recently enacted the “Get on Your Feet” Loan Forgiveness Program. “Get on Your Feet” provides recent graduates with up to 24 months of debt relief for federal student loans, provided that students meet certain qualifications.
AB 1767 would replicate New York’s “Get on Your Feet” Loan Forgiveness Program in California. The “Kickstart My Future” Program would be administered by the California Student Aid Commission.
“The explosion of student debt threatens to hold back our recent graduates just as they are beginning to enter the workforce,” Assemblymember Cervantes said. “Too often student debt forces recent graduates to accept jobs that are outside of their career goals, or delay major life events like buying a house, getting married, or starting a family. AB 1767 will provide them with more time before taking on the daunting task of paying down their federal student debt.”
AB 1767 is supported by the California State Student Association and the California Federation of Teachers.
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Sabrina Cervantes proudly represents the 60th District of the California State Assembly, which encompasses the communities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, and a portion of the City of Riverside.