The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced that it is working with members of Congress to help design student loan debt relief and create more gateways to the architectural field.
Potential avenues for student loan debt relief include canceling service-based loans in the Civilian Climate Corps, a newly proposed $ 10 billion program that would employ young people in short-term jobs or jobs. training programs focusing on renewable technologies and building resilience against threats. of climate change. The AIA partners with the American Bar Association to stress that high student debt is an equity issue that deters students from considering architectural professions.
AIA 2021 President Peter Exley, FAIA and AIA Executive Vice President / General Manager Robert Ivy, FAIA met with South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn on September 21 to explain how student loan debt negatively impacts the architectural profession.
“AIA is ready to work with Congressman Clyburn on the way forward for service-based loan cancellation programs, so that architecture students who want to use their design education to improve their communities can do so. financially, ”Ivy said.
The AIA also supported the bipartisan Pension Parity in Student Loans Act, which would allow employees to make student loan repayments while receiving employer contributions to their pension plan.
“In order to increase fairness in the profession and break down barriers to entry, it is essential that Congress do more to reduce the burden of student debt on our younger generations,” said Exley. “The high costs of education, especially since the profession requires higher education than a four-year university degree, coupled with the financial constraints that can be caused by the licensing process, are real deterrents for many of them who are considering a career in the profession. The AIA is committed to working with all members of Congress to find solutions that will reduce the burden of student debt, which will also allow us to attract greater diversity and talent to the profession.