Joins Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong and University Officials to Facilitate Discussion on College Affordability and Student Debt
FITCHBURG — Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg today continued her statewide economic empowerment tour, joining with students, faculty and administrators from Fitchburg State University to lead a roundtable discussion on innovative practices that will address the challenge of college affordability and rising student debt.
"Higher education continues to remain out of reach for hard-working Massachusetts students trying to get ahead and reach their full potential," said Treasurer Deborah Goldberg. "By making the cost of college more predictable and locking in rates for four years, we can help students and families better plan for the future."
Fitchburg State officials highlighted their new $30K Commitment program, a joint announcement with Worcester State University, Mount Wachusett Community College and Quinsigamond Community College that enables students to lock in a low rate of $30,000 for tuition and fees over four years, or a cost of $7,500 per year.
"We welcome the opportunity to discuss the important issue of college affordability with Treasurer Goldberg," Fitchburg State University President Robert V. Antonucci said. "As evidenced by the $30K Commitment we recently signed with several of our peer institutions in Central Massachusetts, Fitchburg State is committed to affordability and access. In turn, we look to our leaders in Boston to continue investing in its public higher education system that is meeting the Commonwealth's workforce development needs."
"Education is the great equalizer that needs to be kept affordable for students in our working cities," said Fitchburg Mayor Lisa Wong.
"The importance of addressing college affordability and mounting student debt is the number one challenge that has risen to the forefront in the pursuit of a Higher Education degree in the Commonwealth. I am pleased that Treasurer Goldberg is joining her legislative partners with an open dialog in developing a strategy that will bring needed relief to our higher students."
On day one, Treasurer Goldberg created the Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE), led by a deputy treasurer with the deliberate goal of incorporating a range of economic empowerment initiatives, including financial literacy, college affordability and programming to support wage equality. The Office is currently pursuing a range of initiatives to enhance college affordability, including expanding dual enrollment programs to allow high school students to take college-level courses, increasing tuition and loan-repayment scholarships in STEM-related fields and creating a new college savings plan for the kindergarteners who need it most.
A businesswoman, local official and community leader, Deborah Goldberg took office in January 2015, pledging her commitment to protect taxpayer dollars, bring new levels of transparency to state government and advance policies that break down barriers and create economic empowerment.