Madison Sandoval-Lunn speaks about the challenges facing foster children in Nevada and around the country, including her own personal story as a foster child.
Keeping the Door to College Open
As a college degree becomes more important for success, increasing costs have put higher education out of reach for too many Nevadans, and strained the budgets of students and their families. Making college more affordable and accessible for Nevada's students has been one my top legislative priorities.
Over the last few years, Congress has significantly increased federal financial assistance for students. I was pleased to help lead these efforts with passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, and the Health Care and Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. Combined, these bills have led to dramatic increases in federal financial assistance for low- and moderate-income students and their families by increasing the maximum Pell Grant to $5,550 and linking the grant to inflation to ensure that it will keep pace with the rising cost of higher education. These bills also expanded student loan forgiveness opportunities, and implemented and strengthened the Income-Based Repayment Program (IBR). This fall, college graduates in Nevada will be able to cap their loan payments at 10% of their net income through the IBR program, and have their student loans forgiven after 20 years of making payments. For more information on federal student loans and the IBR program, click here to download my “Frequently Asked Questions on Federal Student Loans” brochure.
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act also contained a provision that cut the interest rate for Federal Direct Stafford loans over the course of five years. The interest rate was scheduled to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2012. This increase would have saddled more than 7 million students, including 26,000 Nevadans, with an additional $1,000 in interest over the life of each loan. In order to protect students from the increase in student loan interest rates, Congress recently passed, and President Obama signed into law, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which contains a provision to keep the interest rate for federally subsidized student loans at 3.4 percent for another year.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act also created the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a $2,500 partially-refundable tax credit for tuition, fees, or textbooks to help families with the cost of college. For more information on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, visit IRS.gov.
As students begin the process of choosing a college or other postsecondary school option, an area of study, and payment options, they quickly learn that finding the most basic information on these topics can be challenging. I put together this resource guide – The Path to College – to help Nevada students that are interested in pursuing higher education. I have also developed a brochure with more information on federal student loans and the various repayment options.
Click here to download "The Path to College" resource guide (pdf).
Click here to download the guide in Spanish (pdf).
Click here to download the "Frequently Asked Questions on Federal Student Loans" brochure (pdf).
For more information on all federal student aid programs, visit StudentAid.gov.
If you are having trouble with your student loans, visit the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau web page.
To help manage your Federal student loan, visit StudentLoans.gov.
For information on and to compare college costs, visit the College Affordability and Transparency Center web page.
Learn about Federal Grants, Loans, Scholarships, and the GI Bill
Nevada’s Universities and Colleges
Get information on Nevada’s 8 colleges and universities by visiting their web pages:
Finding a Job
Want a good job but don’t want to spend four years or more in college? These resources can help:
- Career Colleges and Technical Schools: Get information on technical schools that teach a specific trade or career. Click here for details.
- Federal Service: Information on employment opportunities for students within the federal government, whether in high school, college or graduate school. Click here for details.
Serving Your Country and Community
Learn about opportunities available through the Armed and Volunteer Services:
Find out how to change your community and change the world:
Register to Vote
Find out how to register to vote and become involved in your community by clicking here. *Note: for Nevada residents only
Youth Leadership and Service Organizations
Learn about volunteer opportunities available through one of Nevada’s many non-profit organizations
Tell me what you think by sending me an email.
*Note: I can only respond to Nevadans or those with ties to Nevada
Services for Young Nevadans
If you would like to apply for the Senate Page Program, you may submit your information by filling out the online page application form.
If you would like to be considered for an internship in one of my offices, you may submit your information by visiting the internship section of our website. Our internship section of our website also provides information and links to other internship opportunities in Washington DC.
I take great pride in the opportunity to nominate young men and women as candidates to the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and West Point. If you are interested in making a career as an officer in our armed services, click here for more information.
Fun links to learning sites for kids