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Tina Smith and Dan Feehan Talk Tuition Costs With College Students

College tuition rates have been a hot button issue for more than a couple of years now.

Every election American Citizens listen to political candidates' debate and argue about how rates have to go down to get kids back in the university system and every year that goes by tuition rates just keep climbing anyways. 

"College and post–secondary education is the door to opportunity for people," explained U.S. Senator Tina Smith.  "When it is too expensive, people either don't go to college or they end up with debt that is just crushing them and they can't afford to move forward with buying a house, buying a car or taking a job that they want." 

According to buisnessinsider.com, the average annual increase in college tuition from 1980–2014 rose by nearly 260% compared to the nearly 120% increase in all consumer items.

"We've kind of had a shift in a generation," said Congressional Candidate Dan Feehan. "My parents roughly 40 years ago were able to graduate from Winona State here in the district with virtually no debt.  They worked their way through.  The idea of that today is nearly impossible.  In fact, Winona State students organized a food bank for themselves because the affordability of college has grown so exponentially this year."

So what are they actually doing about it?

Senator Smith has cosigned bills and brought other bills forward to try to go about alleviating the process.

"Students today pay exorbitant costs for the books that they have to use in college.  You sign up for a class and find out that the book that you need costs hundreds of dollars and there is no way around it," said Smith.  "I am cosponsoring a bill that would make textbooks available online so that you don't have to pay the costs.  Textbooks ought not to be such a burden on students who are already paying so much for their higher education."

According to Forbes, the average student graduating college in the class of 2016 graduated with just over $37,000 in debt while the national student debt number is at $1.5 trillion and counting.

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