Skip to content

Kaine Cosponsors Bill To Support Working Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine cosponsored the Working Students Act, legislation to support students who are working their way through school. The bill will allow students who need to work to pay for college to complete their degrees more quickly and with less debt.

“As the cost of college continues to rise, more and more students need to work in order to afford school,” Kaine said. “I’m proud this legislation gives students the ability to support their education by working without fear of losing access to financial aid.”

Currently, students who work while attending school often are eligible for less financial aid due to their work income. This phenomenon, referred to as the “work penalty,” creates an endless cycle of needing to work more to make up for a shrinking amount of help with college costs. In these cases, students sometimes choose to stop working and take on more debt to finish their education. The Working Students Act increases the amount working students can earn without that income counting against them in accessing need-based federal financial aid, including Pell Grants.

Nearly 44 million Americans have outstanding student loans. According to data from the Federal Reserve, student loan debt totals more than $1.6 trillion across the country. The rising debt load makes it more difficult for young professionals to purchase homes, automobiles, and other goods, hindering growth of the overall economy. This legislation enables students to maintain their financial aid awards while working so they don’t have to take on more debt.

This Working Students Act was introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

More information about the legislation is available here.