Montpelier Scott Giles, president and CEO of Vermont Student Assistance Corp., will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Thursday, Jan. 16 at 10 a.m.
Giles’ testimony is part of the committee’s hearing, “Strengthening Federal Access Programs to Meet 21st Century Needs: A look at TRiO and GEAR UP,” as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Higher Education Act this year. The hearing will be webcast live.
Giles joins a panel of six other experts in improving higher education access for Americans, particularly low- and middle-income students and those who are the first to pursue education beyond high school.
“We are all aware that the United States needs an educated workforce to remain competitive in the global economy. And Vermont students – just like those in the rest of the nation – need to acquire education or training after high school in order to thrive and succeed,” Giles said. “VSAC is unique among state-based agencies because we provide, under one roof, a full range of services aimed at helping Vermonters navigate the complexity of educational choices and how to finance those plans.”
Giles’ testimony focuses on Vermont’s efforts with the federally funded programs and includes recommendations for future improvements.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt)., a member of the committee, said, “VSAC has helped thousands of Vermont students and families manage the costs of college and pursue their dreams of higher education. I am very pleased that our ongoing efforts to protect VSAC’s critical role in our state will allow it to continue doing the excellent and important work it has done so well over the years. At a time when student debt in this country exceeds $1.1 trillion, it is vitally important that local, nonprofit loan servicers like VSAC are around to compete with the large corporations that service most student loans.”