A recent Ball State University study has found that the average standard of living for Hoosiers is equivalent to that of 1996, according to a press release from State Representative Tom Dermody. In the release, he emphasized that “now, more than ever, we must incentivize students to obtain college degrees and help make them affordable so that students leaving college experience less debt and can enter the workforce more quickly.”
Dermody said the debt issue faced by college graduates is a nationwide issue that deters high school graduates from pursuing higher education. He referred to a Pew Research Center study that showed that a typical college graduate earns roughly $650,000 more during their career than a high school graduate, and said this and similar studies highlight the importance of a college education in obtaining higher paying jobs and increasing the standard of living for Hoosier families.
“Education,” Dermody said, “is the most important investment that a young adult can make.” He went on to say that as the chair of the Ways and Means Higher Education Subcommittee, he has worked alongside the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to protect that investment while working to not only lower the cost of a degree, but also to limit the amount of student loan debt, increase graduation rates, achieve more degrees for tax dollars spent and help students enter the workforce quickly, earning a self-sustaining income.
In an effort to achieve those goals, Dermody said he authored House Enrolled Act 1348 this year, a law that makes various changes to the Frank O’Bannon Grant and 21st Century Scholars Program. This, he said, will encourage students to maintain a four year graduation pace, because staying on track decreases the debt burden students experience after college.
For more information on Dermody’s efforts, click here.