All blog posts related to the issue: Student Right to Know Before You Go Act
  • Ron Talks College Affordability at Campus Roundtables

    Ron and Senator Jeff Merkley met with students last week at the University of Oregon and Southern Oregon University to discuss a multi-pronged approach to tackle the nationwide problem of mounting student debt and rising college costs.

    A lot of students in Oregon and around the country feel that they’re getting hit by a wrecking ball when it comes to paying for an education,” Ron said. We ought to be doing more to get past the ‘blame game’ and to focus on real solutions, both to contain the escalating cost and to prevent the crushing debt that comes about with increased tuition.”

    The Oregon senators heard poignant and painful accounts from students on both campuses worried that debt will hamstring their lives after college.

    “It would be nice if college were affordable because then I could plan ahead,” said Lane Community College student Jazzmen Vega-Heath after the Eugene roundtable at the University of Oregon.

    And the senators also heard troubling takes about students as young as 13 and 14 years old dropping out of rural Oregon schools in the belief that they would never stand a chance at going on to afford college.

    Ron already has introduced a bipartisan bill, the “The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act,” which would provide college-bound students powerful new tools for comparing colleges and specific programs of study on measures such as total cost, likelihood of graduating, and potential earnings.

    And he will soon introduce the PARTNERSHIPS Act, a bill that Senator Merkley is co-sponsoring that would establish a new incentive program rewarding states that increase their investments in public higher education in exchange for holding down tuition costs.

    “I’m constantly hearing the concerns of the students here,” said University of Oregon student Helena Schlegel, “who are struggling to pay the bills - -whether it’s their loans, their tuition, their food, their books or their rent.”

    The PARTNERSHIPS Act would also expand and make permanent critical tax incentives aimed at helping students and families afford college‎, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

    “Both the students and the universities that are willing to step up would win,” Ron said.

    “The students would win because as we heard, students are just getting clobbered by these costs,” he said. “The colleges have said the states haven’t invested enough in education. Now, those colleges would win because if they held down tuition, the federal government would make additional help available.”

    Senator Merkley recently introduced the Access to Fair Financial Options for Repaying Debt (AFFORD) Act, a bill Ron is co-sponsoring that would guarantee all students are able to affordably pay off their student loans by making an income-based repayment option available to all student borrowers.

    Students at both Southern Oregon University and the University of Oregon said after hearing the Oregon senators’ legislative proposals that they were encouraged by the spotlight on an issue that’s especially relevant for them.

    “I would love nothing more than affordable higher education in the United States,’’ Southern Oregon University student Emily Pfeiffer said after the roundtable on the Ashland campus.

  • Ten Sunshine Moments

    Since I first came to Congress, I've fought for government transparency. I believe that openness is the heart of democracy and makes for better policies that help all Americans. Whether it's transparency in funding to ensure accountability, pricing in order to drive down costs, or interpretations of the law to protect Americans' rights, openness is a good thing.

    Sunshine Week highlights all the good work agencies, lawmakers, organizations and Americans do to keep the government accountable and what else still needs to be done. And while there's plenty more on my sunshine to-do list, here are some highlights.

    10 ways I'm standing for sunshine:

    1. End secret holds in the Senate (where a Senator can block a bill anonymously)

    2. Stood against mass surveillance of Americans by warning of secret interpretations of the Patriot Act and fighting to end the dragnet

    3. Make public secret interpretations of intelligence laws:

    4. Disclose when and where oil trains carrying volatile material travel to protect Oregon communities and prepare emergency responders

    5. Audit the Pentagon so every taxpayer dollar for our defense is spent wisely and accounted for

    6. Open up the Medicare claims database to help drive health costs down by shining a light on payments that physicians, surgeons, nurse practitioners and other providers receive through Medicare (You can explore some of that data here:

    7. Student Right to Know Before You Go Act so students can access data to help them determine the best investment for their higher education dollars

    8. Founded the Whistleblowers Caucus to ensure workers who report waste, fraud and abuse in our government are protected from retaliation

    9. Stand by your ad provision that requires candidates to be identified and take personal responsibility for their campaign ads

    10. Campaign finance reform to require disclosure of dark money given to Super PACs

  • Wyden & Warner Host Twitter Town Hall

    Senators Wyden & Warner took to Twitter to answer questions about their bill- Student Right to Know Before You Go Act. It gives students the information they need to choose between colleges and programs.