Strickland discussed how education changed his own life and how he’ll fight to make higher education more affordable for students.
COLUMBUS, OH -- Tonight, Ted Strickland joined Ohio State College Democrats to discuss his Ohio Families First Plan to make higher education more affordable for all Ohioans and to launch a new coalition supporting his campaign: “Students for Ted.”
“I was the first in my family to go to college – education truly changed the course of my life, and I want every Ohioan to have the same kind of opportunities that I had,” said Ted Strickland. “But right now, Ohio students and their families are reeling from astronomical amounts of debt, and it’s stopping too many from pursuing their dreams. That’s why in the Senate I will fight to make college debt free for students, support measures to help students refinance their loans at more affordable rates and protect programs like Pell Grants and Perkins Loans. Unfortunately, Senator Portman has put the interests of his rich and powerful friends over what’s best for Ohio students and working families -- voting for the largest cut to Pell Grants in history, opposing letting students refinance their loan rates, and attempting to do away with the Perkins Loan program altogether. I believe affordable and accessible higher education is truly the pathway for working people to achieve the American Dream, and I will never stop fighting until every student who wants to can get the quality education they deserve.”
As governor, Strickland worked to make higher education, community college and vocational training more affordable and accessible to all Ohioans. Strickland froze tuition at public colleges for two years and under his watch Ohio had the lowest rate of tuition growth in the nation. Strickland’s administration also made college free for veterans and welcomed qualified high school juniors and seniors to take college courses for free.
This week, the Strickland campaign launched a new digital ad: “Students,” featuring Ohio students speaking about the contrast between Ted Strickland and Senator Portman on the issue of college affordability. College Democrats presidents across the state also released a statement condemning Senator Portman for pushing the agenda of the rich and the powerful at the expense of Ohio’s students.
Strickland’s proposals focus on the follow the areas:
Debt-Free College for Students. As the first in his family to go to college, Strickland understands that affordable and accessible higher education is the pathway to opportunity, which is why Strickland supports making higher education debt-free for students.
Allowing Students to Refinance Their Loans. Today 70 percent of Ohio’s students graduate college with an average of $30,000 in debt and overall student debt in the United States has tripled to over $1.2 trillion. Strickland believes we must allow students to refinance their loans at a fair interest rate. In the Senate, he will support proposals to allow individuals with college loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates. Senator Portman opposed letting students refinance their loans at a lower rate in order to protect handouts for millionaires.
Supporting Pell Grants, the Perkins Loan Program and Apprenticeships. In the Senate, Strickland will fight to expand and protect vital programs like Pell Grants and the Perkins Loan program that put college in reach for millions of Americans. Strickland will also support the LEAP Act, which would provide tax credits to businesses that offer apprenticeships. Senator Portman voted for the largest cut to Pell Grants in history and proposed ending the Perkins Loan Program that provides assistance to students who need the most support. The coalition is made up of over 250 student and student leaders from across Ohio who will work to mobilize voters across the state and share Ted’s message of fighting for students throughout the campaign, including individuals from the following institutions: Ashland University, Capital University, Columbus State, Denison University, Kenyon College, Marietta College, Miami University of Ohio, Oberlin College, Ohio University, Ohio Wesleyan University, The Ohio State University, the Ohio State University at Marion, University of Akron, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, University of Toledo, Wittenberg University, The College of Wooster, Wright State University and Youngstown State University.