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March 16, 2012 > Legislation to help lower higher education costs

Legislation to help lower higher education costs

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) has introduced two bills designed to help lower the costs of higher education for students.

"The cost of higher education has skyrocketed in recent years, making it tougher for students from low- and middle-income families to afford college," Corbett said. "These two bills are simple steps California can take to help lower the cost of financing a college education and buying textbooks."

Senate Bill 1289 requires colleges and universities to provide basic information about private loans on financial aid materials and clearly distinguish between private and federal loans in financial aid packages offered to students. The bill directs institutions to inform students, who are awarded private loans, about the terms of the loan, including whether the interest rate is fixed or variable, the fees associated and how the student's credit rating impacts the rate.

This information will help students make better decisions about loans and find the most cost-effective way to finance their education.

The second bill, Senate Bill 1539, requires publishers of textbooks used in higher education to inform purchasers of the differences in the textbooks from previous editions and also of all the products they offer on the same topic.

This information would let professors and students know whether purchasing an expensive new edition is necessary for a class or if a less expensive alternative, such as a previous edition or a different book, would suffice.

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