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Sen. Sinema introduces bill to eliminate federal student loan fees

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona introduced a bill Tuesday that would eliminate federal student loan fees.

The Democratic lawmaker joined Republican Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana to introduce the Student Loan Tax Elimination Act.

“Education was my key to opportunity, and student loan debt should never stop Arizonans from getting the skills they need to build better lives,” Sinema said in a video.

“I hear from Arizonans all the time who worry about their ability to pay off student loan debt.”

The fees on the chopping block are charged by the government when processing a federal student loan. The average undergraduate student in a four-year program will pay about $235 in fees and interest on loans, according to a press release.

The fees add to the load of student loan debt that about one-third of Arizona students graduate with, an average of $24,000, Sinema said.

“Our common-sense bill eliminates federal student loan origination fees, helping Arizona families better afford college and increasing opportunities available to Arizona students,” she said.

The bill was endorsed by the Arizona Education Association, which said in the release that it is “excited to see legislation moving forward that addresses concerns surrounding loan origination fees.

“As student borrowers work towards achieving a higher education, it is important that student aid protections are in place that allow for a simplified repayment process for those in most need of financial assistance,” the association said.

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