Hoyer Hosts Education Discussion

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Hoyer Hosts Education Discussion

Waldorf, MD - 2/7/2012

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By Andy Marquis

Congressman Steny Hoyer (D: MD-5th) spoke with college students about what is being done to reduce costs of tuition for students at the College of Southern Maryland campus in Waldorf on Monday.  Hoyer hosted the discussion along with Education Secretary Eduardo Ochoa and Maryland State Delegate John Bohanon (D: St. Mary’s County).

“I was pleased to meet and hear from campus representatives from higher education institutions throughout the Fifth District on the issues that are rightfully concerning to their academic communities,” Hoyer said.  “By hearing first-hand from campus leaders, Assistant Secretary Ochoa, Delegate Bohanan, and I have a better understanding of the issues that matter most to Maryland’s students. I thank Assistant Secretary Ochoa and Delegate Bohanan for joining me at today's event, and I look forward to continued discussions with them to ensure that our State and Federal governments are working to keep college affordable and help students achieve their educational objectives.”

Hoyer and Ochoa spoke about the importance of Pell Grants and other financial aid and praised efforts by President Barack Obama (D) to continue to make college more affordable for students.  Ochoa emphasized President Obama’s desire to make the tuition tax credits permanent and Obama’s request to freeze interest rates on insurance.  Bohanon said Maryland places a high emphasis on education.

During the discussion, students got to state what was on their mind.  Three students from St. Mary’s College of Maryland asked Bohanon about the cost of tuition at SMCM and spending freezes from the state.  Bohanon stated that SMCM gets $18 million/year and that funding increased 4.1% each year while increasing tuition 6.2% are the main things that factored in to the freeze.

The other major concern is about financial aid for students whose parents make too much money.  Ochoa did not have a solution for that concern.

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