He announced Friday he’ll work to push forth “pay it forward” legislation where students pay for their schooling after they graduate. This isn’t a new plan. In fact, the pay-it-forward model for college spending already passed through Oregon’s legislature, and Governor John Kitzhaber signed the bill into law last month. Now Senator Merkley is working to get this system put in place throughout the country.
Merkley announced his plans at the University of Oregon. During his presentation, students help up balloons labeling how much debt they’ve accumulated in student loans.
The plan is students don’t pay a penny for their education while in school and instead would have a payment plan based on their earnings after they graduate.
“I think the federal legislation is going to incentivize states. Say if you come up with a plan and you provide a match, there’s a pathway here that will make it much easier to have the initial funds to get this program on the road,” Merkley said.
Students from the University of Oregon, Oregon State and Lane Community College all attended the event.
Merkley will introduce this legislation to the U.S. Senate in September.