Press Releases

Grothman’s Bills to Encourage Responsible Student Loan Borrowing Included in College Cost Reduction Act

Washington, January 11, 2024 | Kyle Amato (202-225-2476)

Congressman Glenn Grothman (WI-06) is proud to announce that two of his bills, the Responsible Borrowing Act and the Protecting Taxpayers from Student Loan Bailouts Act, have been incorporated into the College Cost Reduction Act, a substantial piece of legislation that provides a comprehensive solution that will lower college costs for students and families. This bill was produced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in consultation with Congressional testimony, universities, and student loan scholars.

Grothman’s Responsible Borrowing Act, which is endorsed by Moraine Park Technical College President, Bonnie Baerwald, and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), aims to promote fiscal responsibility among student borrowers by protecting students against taking on excessive student loan debt from such a young age that could take decades to repay. Specifically, the bill allows institutions of higher education to implement guard rails on how much money students can borrow.

The goal of Grothman’s Protecting Taxpayers from Student Loan Bailouts Act is to defend the American people against the Biden administration’s relentless attempts to transfer the burden of student loan debt to the taxpayers. Specifically, it requires that the Department of Education review the fiscal impact of any future plans to forgive student loan debt to ensure costs to the federal government do not increase and result in taxpayers footing the bill.

“Far too often, students are borrowing exorbitant amounts of money – more than they need – which can lead to a lifetime of financial hardship,” said Grothman. “This issue has been brought to my attention by local administrators who are frustrated as they watch students take out money they don’t need knowing that it will serve as a burden down the road, even disrupting lifelong goals like buying a home or starting a family.

“In addition to students taking out excessive student loans, the Biden administration’s attempts to cancel student loan debt across the board is insulting to every American who paid their loans or never attended college.

“I am grateful for Chairwoman Foxx for including my two initiatives as key components of the College Cost Reduction Act because these measures reflect our dedication to supporting students in pursuing higher education without compromising the interests of the taxpayers.”

Background Information

Financial aid administrators want to help ensure students are borrowing a responsible amount to prevent unnecessary debt for their students, but current law has tied their hands. As it stands now, students can borrow up to the maximum amount of a federal loan and the institution has relatively no say in the matter, despite the institution being held responsible for the number of students who enter loan repayment and default within three years, also known as the cohort default rate (CDR). Only in a rare, case-by-case basis can a school deny or restrict the amount a student can borrow.

The Responsible Borrowing Act will help reduce the risk of overborrowing by allowing universities to limit the amount of a federal loan that an enrolled student can borrow. Universities would also be permitted to limit loans under certain conditions relating to average salaries for typical occupations pursued by graduates of a program, enrollment status of the student (i.e., full- or part-time), credential level of the program, and the year of the program. Under the bill, if the institution limited the amount a student could borrow, it would be able to increase that amount under special circumstances.

Specifically, the College Cost Reduction Act:

  • Ensures clear, accessible, and personalized information about costs and return on investment are available to prospective students and families.
  • Holds institutions financially responsible for overpriced degrees that leave students with unaffordable debt. 
  • Funds colleges based on student outcomes rather than excessive regulations that further increase costs to families.  

Click here for the full text of the College Cost Reduction Act.

Click here to read more about the Responsible Borrowing Act.

Click here to read more about the Protecting Taxpayers from Student Loan Bailouts Act.

In August 2022, Grothman introduced the Fairness for Responsible Borrowers Act to clarify that the Biden Administration does not have the authority to unilaterally forgive student loans.

In May 2022, Grothman led 22 of his colleagues on a letter to President Biden warning of the dire economic consequences of widespread student loan forgiveness.   

In May 2023, during a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing, Grothman asked Education Secretary Cardona about the inability of counselors of higher education to advise its students accurately and honestly regarding borrowing federal student loans. Click here to view Grothman's questioning of Secretary Cardona, which focused on his bill, the Responsible Borrowing Act.


U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) is serving his fifth term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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