MADISON, Wis. — On Gov. Scott Walker’s watch, Wisconsin has risen to third highest in the nation for the percentage of graduates with student loan debt. According to statistics from the federal government, there are nearly one million Wisconsin borrowers with over $19 billion in federal student loan debt alone.
Today, the Governor held a press event at which he announced a website, the only public evidence of work being done by a much touted student loan ombudsman hired over 6 months ago, and advised borrowers to call banks about refinancing their student loans.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross:
“Nearly one million Wisconsin student loan borrowers have over $19 billion in debt and the best Gov. Walker can manage is to hold a press conference announcing he is doing nothing and they should go talk to a bank or visit a website.
“Gov. Walker and the Republican legislature cut funding for higher education by record amounts, cut financial aid for eligible students and hiked tuition by double digits. That’s how, on his watch, Wisconsin has risen to third highest in the nation for percentage of college graduates with student loan debt.
“And they’ve spent four years opposing a common sense plan that would actually help borrowers refinance their student loans, at no net cost to taxpayers.
“Borrowers have done the right thing, they worked hard to get an education and they took on the personal responsibility to pay for it. They’re not being treated fairly by the system and they’re not being dealt with honestly by Gov. Walker with his latest press stunt.”