US Senate News:
Source: United States Senator for Ohio Sherrod Brown
June 16, 2021 — WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) convened more than 50 Ohio college and university presidents for his 14th annual College Presidents Conference. The theme of this year’s conference, which was held virtually, is how the pandemic has exacerbated challenges students and institutions are facing in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with a special focus on racial equity in higher education, affordability, and accessibility. This year’s event also allowed higher education leaders from across the state to connect with each other and to hear from experts on proposed solutions to issues those in higher education are facing. A full list of the college leaders at the event can be found HERE.
“This conference offers a unique opportunity for the leaders of Ohio’s great colleges, universities, and community colleges to connect and share best practices and ideas as we move past the coronavirus pandemic together,” said Brown. “More than 50 college presidents, many of whom were the first to act to keep students and staff safe during the COVID crisis, will have a chance to discuss the long-term effects of the pandemic, and share with policymakers what Ohio schools need for the next school year and beyond.”
The American Rescue Plan provided our colleges and universities with $40 billion in emergency funding, with at least half of these funds spent on emergency financial aid grants for students to help with necessities like food, housing, and health care.
Senator Brown also supports the passage of the American Families Plan. The plan would provide critical investments in education, including $109 billion so every student in the country can receive two free years of community college; $46 billion to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs); and $85 billion in Pell Grants to provide up to approximately $1,400 in additional assistance to low-income students.
In February, Senator Brown called on President Joe Biden to use his executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower and has encouraged the President to continue the pause on student loan payments. Senator Brown is also an original co-sponsor of the Debt-Free College Act, which would create federal and state partnerships to allow students to attend in-state colleges without debt. This program aims to reverse state cuts to higher education and make all in-state students in participating states debt-free within five years.