Whether it is your first semester or last, I applaud your decision to become a Roadrunner. As you return to campus for Roadrunner Days and classes, I know your campus is full of active, engaged students, many of whom I have met with or have interned in my office just off West Travis Street. A lifetime of civic involvement often begins in the college years, and showing your support for higher education is a great way to engage as UTSA, under the leadership of Dr. Ricardo Romo, continues to emerge as a Tier One research institution.
Protecting access to your education. You have much at stake in Washington. Last November, the Higher Education Act, the first piece of national legislation aimed at reducing college costs, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed this landmark law, he said that it was to ensure that the “path of knowledge is open to all that have the determination to walk it.” While this legislation improved college affordability at the time, half a century later too many of our students face financial obstacles to furthering their education – and many more leave with a mountain of debt. We face big challenges from those who do not believe in federal aid to education and who oppose adequate funding for student aid. I believe that an investment in you is an investment in the future of America.
My efforts to keep interest rates low and financial aid high. One of the first changes that must be made is lowering high interest rates on federal student loans. I have supported legislation to avoid the doubling of interest rates on federal loans and to continue adequate funding for Pell Grants and other types of federal student financial assistance. I also authored the “More Education” tax credit, also known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), so that students and families receive a tax cut by up to $10,000 on education expenses such as tuition, textbooks, and fees.
Get involved in the community. Throughout your time at UTSA, I look forward to seeing you, whether it is at school, a local event in the community, or when I hold my “neighborhood office hours” and visit with constituents about whatever federal issue they want to discuss. I also encourage students to get involved as interns in my San Antonio or Washington, D.C. offices. If you want to help me serve our community, then email your cover letter and resume to my San Antonio District Director and UTSA Alum [email protected]
Make your voice heard! Share information about how student loan debt after graduation will affect you so I can share your thoughts, stories, and ideas with my colleagues. My local office is located at 217 West Travis, which is accessible on the sidewalk, across from the downtown Frost drive-in bank near Santa Rosa Hospital. You can email me at [email protected], tweet at me @RepLloydDoggett, or post a photo of yourself with your story on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LloydDoggett. Another way to get updates is subscribing to “Lloyd’s List” on my website www.Dogett.House.Gov. Let me hear from you. I wish you a successful year and Go ‘Runners!