Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema offer alternative to student loan forgiveness

Sidne Boadwine, a junior at Boise State University, does class work in Boise on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.
Sidne Boadwine, a junior at Boise State University, does class work in Boise on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. | Ben B. Braun, Deseret News
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., reintroduced a bill Thursday that attempts to address student loan debt and make colleges more affordable.

The Earn to Learn Act, which was first introduced in April 2021, would create a matched-savings program that would help low-income students pay college tuition, buy books and cover any other education-related expenses.

“We must do better to ensure American students have the skills and training necessary to pursue good-paying jobs that keep up with our changing economy,” said Romney.


“I’m proud to join Sen. Sinema in reintroducing this legislation, which will help students pursue their education by equipping them with the financial resources and knowledge they need to attend college or career and technical schools without the burden of being saddled with debt when they graduate,” he said.

Romney has worked alongside Sinema on numerous occasions, and has said he is open to endorsing her if she decides to run for Senate reelection in 2024.


Their latest bill would establish 250,000 additional scholarships in the first five years, according to the press release.

It mirrors the Earn to Learn program in Arizona, which helps students access a college education and graduate with little to no student debt. It only allows students who qualify for Pell Grants to participate.


In the match-saving program, every $1 a student contributes would be matched with $8 from a participating state or nonprofit, which would receive grants to provide this assistance.

Kate Hoffman, the founder and CEO of the Earn to Learn program, commended the bipartisan effort “to generate economic opportunity across the country by expanding this innovative program to students across the country.”

The legislation comes as 43 million Americans resume paying their student loans in October. The Biden administration has canceled more than $117 billion in student loan debt in the last two years, per CNN.

Last month, the administration launched the Saving on a Valuable Education program, or SAVE, which reduces monthly payments based on a borrower's income.