Student Debt Town Hall

DATE: Friday, April 14, 2017

TIME: 10:00 a.m.

LOCATION: Scibelli Theater (Bldg 2), Springfield Technical Community College, 1 Armory Square, Springfield

Student Debt Town Hall poser

Holyoke Community College president Christina Royal will join state Sen. Eric Lesser, Springfield Technical Community College president John Cook, and students for a conversation about student debt, Fri., April 14, at STCC, moderated by Beth Ward, from WesternMass News.

The town hall talk will begin at 10 a.m. in the Scibelli Theater in Building 2 at STCC, 1 Armory Square in Springfield. 

During the first part of the program, Ward will interview presidents Royal and Cook and Sen. Lesser about student debt, its impact on community college students, and legislation Lesser is working on that would reduce the financial burden students face.

The second part of the program will be a question and answer session.

Questions can be submitted by email in advance to Dawn West

For those who cannot attend, Sen. Lesser's office will be livestreaming the event on Facebook.

Background, from Sen. Lesser's office:

In his role as the Chairman of the Massachusetts' Senate's Millennial Engagement Initiative, Senator Eric Lesser has filed his "Millennial Agenda." The agenda features a wide array bills designed to speak to many of the needs we heard as we traveled the state including financial literacy, media literacy, civics education, open-data and transparency, and student debt.

In March, Senator Lesser published an op-ed which speaks to his "Student Loan Bill of Rights." The Student Loan Bill of Rights establishes a basic set of protections for student loan borrowers, preventing predatory practices by servicers and establishes a "Student Loan Ombudsman" within the Massachusetts Division of Banks to adjudicate claims brought against servicers by borrowers.

Additionally, Senator Lesser has filed a "Workforce Opportunity Scholorship" bill which provides grants for students who maintain 2.0 GPA's or higher and complete 75 hours of community service each semester. 

Finally, Senator Lesser has filed a bill which expands "Dual Enrollment" enabling high-school students to attend as many college level courses up to 24 credit hours per academic year.