Senator Warner talks college affordability with Lynchburg students

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — It’s called the Stay Close, Go Far promise, an $8,000 scholarship available to all graduated of nd eight thousand dollar scholarship.

“For students who are going to CVCC, it’s like free college,” said Mubashara Ashraf, a Randolph College student, “and then for us, you’re getting $2000 every year.”

It’s available to all graduates of E.C. Glass and Heritage High School who attend a local college or accredited technical certification program.

Current college students shared their experiences paying for school with E.C. Glass High School students on Monday.

“My parents will be paying for my college class,” said Ashraf. “I think it was really important that I didn’t want them to pay everything, so it was really important to help them through scholarships. I think it was a great opportunity for all of us.”

Senator Mark Warner he said he’s pushing bills to help make higher education more attainable, including one to allow high schoolers to use Pell Grants when taking college courses on the side and another to address transparency in the cost and effectiveness of higher education.

“They ought to know what the total costs are,” said Warner. “They ought to know on average how long it takes to graduate. They ought to know, by major, what their chance is of getting a job and how much that job would pay.”

He sees the difficulty of passing it in the Republican-controlled Senate, laughing when asked how likely it is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would allow the bills to come up for a vote.

“Well, these are bills that are broadly bipartisan,” he said.

Though he recognizes the challenge of getting a vote, he believes the bills would pass with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans.

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