Legislation to help give Oklahomans more information about benefits versus costs for student loan debt has been approved by the full Senate. Sen. Jim Halligan is principal author of Senate Bill 156, also known as “Truth in Lending.”
“It’s been reported that there’s somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in our country, with one in five households now owing student debt,” said Halligan, R-Stillwater. “We want to make sure students and their parents fully understand what kind of debt they may be looking at and which academic programs are in highest demand in our economy.”
Under SB 156, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education would present information at the end of the sophomore year to students and their parents or other financially responsible parties detailing the average debt for students in their same area of study, and which degrees offer the greatest opportunities in Oklahoma.
“If a student wants to study Russian literature, that’s absolutely fine, but I think it is really important for that student and their parents to fully understand what kind of debt they may be facing and what the job market is like,” said Halligan. “Before they take out student loans that can take decades to repay, they need to have all the facts. That’s what this bill would do.”
SB 156 will next be considered by the House of Representatives.