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Making College Education Affordable

Higher education is the gateway to the American middle class. Peter is working to make a college degree affordable and reduce the crushing burden of student loan debt.

  • Waive tuition and fees for every community college student
  • Waive tuition for qualifying students at public colleges and universities
  • Boost student financial aid
  • Restructure student loan debt at substantially lower interest rates
  • Forgive student loans for graduates employed in public service jobs
  • Expand federal job training initiatives

More on Making College Education Affordable

April 21, 2020 Press Release

Vermont’s state colleges have provided Vermonters with access to higher education and helped to build the Vermont workforce for the past 60 years.  They are an essential part of our post-secondary system and the economic drivers of rural regions around the state.  Community members, students and faculty have reached out to us over the last several days worried about the future of their education, jobs and towns.  We share their concerns.

March 8, 2018 In The News

There were very few seats left empty in Herrick Auditorium on Friday as students, faculty and community members gathered for an open forum with Rep. Peter Welch.

“Ever since Vermont became the first new state to join the union in 1791, we have established an amazingly proud legacy in sending very distinguished people to the United States Congress,” Dean Jonathan Spiro said.

To illustrate his point, Spiro detailed the story of Matthew Lyon, the Vermont representative jailed in 1798 for violating the Alien and Sedition Acts under president John Adams.

June 23, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON— Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and John Katko (R-NY) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help federal student loan borrowers make smarter loan choices and better position themselves during the repayment process. The bill is the latest Welch initiative to simplify the process of applying for and repaying federal student loans.

June 19, 2017 In The News


Vermont's lone congressman is pushing a bill to forgive college loan debt for farmers.

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, would not handicap the proposal's chances of becoming law at a press conference Monday.

He did say farmers should be eligible for the same public service loan forgiveness options already open to teachers and police among others.

The goal is to ensure cash-flow issues don't keep young farmers like Keith Drinkwine from entering the field.

October 3, 2016 In The News

By Kyle Midura

BURLINGTON - Vermont students and their parents should find it simpler to apply for college financial aid this year, and can do so now.

At a press conference Monday, Rep. Peter Welch implored students to file the application form -- known as the FAFSA -- as soon as possible. Previously that couldn't happen until January. Welch says the process of finding out how much aid one is eligible for should be a relatively painless process.

April 7, 2016 In The News

September 14, 2015 Press Release
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) commended President Obama's decision announced today to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which, at 105 questions and 88 pages of instructions, can be a bureaucratic nightmare for parents and students.
September 1, 2015 Press Release
As the fall semester gets underway at colleges and universities across the state, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) today convened a roundtable at the University of Vermont with students, recent graduates, and parents to learn about the challenges they face in financing a college education. Welch also outlined his legislative agenda to make higher education more affordable and accessible.
December 15, 2014 In The News

WAMC Northeast Public Radio

Student loan debt now outstrips credit card debt in the United States and some are concerned that if college costs cannot be contained, the nation’s future economic growth could be compromised.  In today’s installment of our special series on student loans, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks at how legislative efforts might impact the cost of college.