The Oregon House today passed the Attorney General’s bill designed to help Oregon’s students and their families better understand their education related debt obligations. The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 253, would require Oregon colleges and universities to send students annual, easy-to-understand letters explaining the scope of their federal educational debt. The bill already passed the Senate unanimously and will now move to the Governor’s desk.
Under the proposed legislation, every student who receives a federal educational loan will annually receive an estimate of the total amount of federal loans the student has taken out, and the total potential payoff amount over the life of the loan. Students will also receive an estimated monthly payment applicable after graduation.
“College tuition is skyrocketing throughout Oregon, and the financial aid process comes with mountains of paperwork. With so much buried in the fine print, it can be easy to miss how much a student will actually owe at graduation,” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “Given the huge expense involved, it is just common sense that a student should receive a clear statement of the real financial obligations they will face after graduation.”
In 2015, roughly 63 percent of students graduating from Oregon’s colleges and universities had education related debt, averaging $26,000.
Similar laws passed in other states have had promising results. Indiana University saw a roughly 16 percent reduction in student borrowing, which accounted for $44 million in debt savings, when they started sending annual student debt letters during the 2012-2013 academic year. Since then, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Washington have passed similar legislation.
Kristina Edmunson, Department of Justice, Kristina.Edmunson@doj.state.or.us, 503-378-6002