Poliquin: How To Make College Affordable


As a parent, I believe the three most lasting gifts we can give our kids are unconditional love, a sound moral compass, and a good education.

Sadly, the dream of an affordable higher education in the United States is becoming less and less achievable as college tuition has spiraled out of control.

I understand, first-hand, how expensive it is to attend college.  Like many Mainers, I only made it through college because of scholarships and working multiple jobs.

During the school year, I would clean bathrooms and bus dining hall tables.  While in the summer time, I would dig sewer lines and paint metal roofs in Central Maine.  Without these jobs, I would have never been able to afford my books and tuition.

As I prepared to send my own son off to college a few years ago, I was awestruck by the costs of today’s schools.

Today, students are incurring insurmountable debts and are being discouraged from pursuing the schools and careers of their choice because of it.  Washington politicians should stop making it more expensive for people who want to attend college and receive a higher education degree.

That’s why I supported a budget that will help save Pell Grants from disappearing because of skyrocketing costs.

This budget recognizes the importance of Pell Grants as a critical source of financial aid. Without the budget I supported, Pell Grants will face a funding shortfall in 2017 – jeopardizing the program’s ability to keep its promises to students.

The House budget maintains the current maximum award level for the next decade and puts the Pell Grant program back on a sound financial footing.

Additionally, I fought against President Obama’s proposal to tax 529 college savings plans.  I supported a bill that will help expand, strengthen and modernize 529 college savings plans to make college more affordable.  Now, families will be able to purchase necessary school supplies, such as computers, using their 529 account funds.

Sadly, the President still believes taxing 529 college savings plans is good idea, but it just wasn’t worth fighting at the time.  Clearly, the President would have no reservation in attempting this jeopardizing action once again when it’s politically more convenient for him.

As Maine’s Second District Representative, I will continue to support legislation that will help make college more affordable and allow our students to experience a quality education without incurring insurmountable debt.


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