Second District Congressional Question 11-01-12 

We conclude our profiles of the two men running for the U.S. House of Representatives, Second District seat.Congressman Mike Michaud is seeking a sixth term while Senator Kevin Raye is hoping voters won’t repeat what happened back in 2002, and elect him to represent maine instead.Here’s the final question for the two candidates…The cost of going to college continues to increase. What can the government do to make college more affordable for students who want a degree but can’t pay for college?Congressman Michaud:”I think we got to look at education, unlike some of my colleagues, I view education as an investment: it’s an investment in our future, but we have to also make sure that they can afford to go to college. When you look at Maine compared to the rest of the country, Maine unfortunately, when students graduate from college, we’re number two in the country, as far as the debt load for our students. And that’s very unfortunate. There are things that we have been able to do in Congress. When you look at lowering the interest rate for student loans, we’re able to finally get the rate lowered, to maintain it at half level, and PELL grants, to make it more accessible for, for our students to be able to qualify for PELL grants. But there’s also, if we can get the economy moving again, hopefully the states will be able to help our public institutions as well. It doesn’t do Congress any good to lower the rate for, for interest to make it more affordable if the state’s not doing their part and properly funding high red, because that will actually drive up the cost and we got to do everything we can to provide programs to make it accessible, but also to make sure that higher institution has the resources they can do to, hold the tuition rates low. “Kevin Raye:”Both parties have come together in Washington to ensure that we keep the rates down for student loans, for federally subsidized student loans. One of the things that I worked on as Chief of Staff to Olympia Snowe back in the mid ’90s was the effort to ensure that the federal government continues its commitment to help middle class kids achieve education. I think it’s absolutely vital, as a country, that we continue to have an educated population and that we cannot turn our backs on middle class kids across this country, who otherwise could not afford college. We need to continue that commitment. It is, I think, something that deserves to be a priority for Congress, for the President, and for the country. “