Wil-Hi grad urges Congress to act on cost of college

      EUGENE, Ore. - Willamette High School graduate Amber Lee is headed to Portland State University in the fall to major in biochemistry.

      She hopes to eventually become a doctor.

      But before she arrives on campus, she has a message for Congress.

      On Tuesday, she told the Senate finance committee that higher education is only for the privileged - and that needs to change right now.

      Lee said she grew up in an unstable and violent home.

      She said growing up her family was evicted from 12 homes by the time she was 9.

      Through it all, it was school that kept her going.

      But even after all the scholarships she was awarded and loans she took out, Lee finds herself faced with the prospect of $40,000 after four years at PSU.

      Lee said federal government could help her and other students by expanding loan forgiveness, limiting interest rates on student loans and expanding financial aid.

      Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, chairs the finance committe. He calls some of these proposals "common sense solutions" to the enormous debt load college students face upon graduation.