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Rubio Legislation Would Give Students Access To Innovative College Financing Option

Oct 20, 2015 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) re-introduced legislation today to expand access to a new and innovative private financing option to help students pay for postsecondary education.
The bill, entitled the Investing in Student Success Act, would create a legal framework where individuals or organizations can provide students with money for school in exchange for the student agreeing to make payments linked to their income for a set period of time after graduation. Students would have no loan balance to repay, so some students might end up paying less than the amount given to them and others more. These plans would serve as a voluntary alternative to student loans.
“In the 21st century, higher education is no longer an option for Americans, it has become a necessity,” Rubio said. “A complex and confusing student loan system makes it increasingly difficult for millions of people trying to meet the challenges of our economy. Allowing private entities to invest directly in an individual student is an alternative to student loans that will help make higher education more accessible.”‎
These ideas were originally proposed by Milton Friedman and were recently discussed in a report published by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). One of the recommendations of the report was for Congress to create a legal framework that would provide investors with clarity regarding tax treatment, consumer disclosures, and other relevant aspects of these contracts. While there are a few small companies operating in this market, the report argues that the lack of legal clarity has prevented the growth of these financing options on a wide scale.
“By clarifying the lawfulness of income share agreements, this bill incentivizes the free enterprise system and allows people to access the skills needed to take advantage of the opportunities created by the free market,” added Rubio. “Providing students with more choices to fund their education will offer them more opportunities to achieve the American Dream.”
Rubio has spoken about the need to reform our system of higher education financing. Rubio discussed these ideas and also proposed expanding income-based repayment for federal student loans in a speech at Miami-Dade College last year.
A PDF of the legislation is available here.