Hagan proposes delayed college tuition payments - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Hagan proposes delayed college tuition payments

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - State Representatives Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) have unveiled a plan for a pilot project to eliminate the growing burden of student loan debt carried by many of Ohio's college graduates.

According to a news release from Representative Hagan's office, the legislation proposes that tuition to any of Ohio's thirteen public colleges and universities would be free during a student's college career, eliminating the need to finance a college education by taking out loans. Instead, graduates would pay three percent of their income for 24 years to pay for the costs of their education and to fund the program for the benefit of future students.

Hagan told 21 News "If they don't get a job out of college they don't start paying until they get a job. The second part is if they don't finish, they only pay a percentage of what they have done. So if they only get to be a sophomore they'll pay for the first two years that's it. For instance if they're only making $10 an hour they're only still going to pay the three percent on that. If they're making $25 an hour they'll still pay the three percent on that."

Under the legislation, payback rates would be capped at three percent.

"It seems to me that the U.S. Congress is having trouble figuring out how to reduce the cost of education and the loans just went up- doubled. The second part of it is it's increasingly more difficult for people to afford college. The costs are going up, just in Youngstown State University itself the costs are going up and we can't control it," he said.

The news release says the plan would require an initial investment from the state, but the fund would eventually become entirely self-supporting.

According to the Associated Press, lawmakers passed similar legislation in Oregon earlier this month, which is expected to be signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, for a pilot project to be explored and then considered by the 2015 Legislature.

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