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Sen. Patty Murray Discusses Higher Ed Challenges with CWU Students


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher education and the cost of obtaining a degree were the focus of discussions between U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and CWU student leaders on Tuesday. Murray, the ranking minority member on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said students’ perspectives are important as Congress looks at reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, which governs federal student aid.

“From students across the board I’m hearing about the impact of the cost of college,” Murray said. “It’s a huge burden for young people today. Yet they value education, they know why it’s important to get it, but cost is a real impediment.”

Several of the students Murray met with have jobs—some have two or even three. Many are the first in their families to attend college. They described the value of resources like the federally funded College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), which gives first-year students financial support, tutoring and career planning.

Cynthia Moreno, who’s double majoring in social services and law and justice, said she chose CWU because of CAMP. “My parents are farmworkers. I consider myself a farmworker as well,” Moreno said. Though her first year was tough, Moreno said CAMP helped her succeed by providing tutoring, academic counseling and a monthly stipend for living expenses. She told Murray she’d like to see more financial support for migrant families.

Murray also met with six student veterans today. Working for veterans is one of her top priorities, and one issue in particular is transitioning from military life.

Murray said as the committee starts rewriting the Higher Education Act, they will be looking at student loans and interest rates, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and the rest of the issues she discussed today with CWU students.  

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841, barnott@cwu.edu

April 7, 2015