Bill seeks to lower the cost of higher education


The House Committee on Education and Labor has introduced a measure designed to overhaul the higher education system by lowering the cost of college for students and families.

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Lawmakers said the College Affordability Act would improve the quality of higher education through stronger accountability while expanding opportunities by providing students the support and flexibility needed for success.

“The College Affordability Act immediately cuts the cost of college for students and families and provides relief for existing borrowers,” Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), committee chairman, said. “At the same time, it improves the quality of education by holding schools accountable for their students’ success and it meets students’ individual needs by expanding access to more flexible college options and stronger support – helping students graduate on time and move into the workforce.”

Provisions of the bill include the restoration of state and federal investments in public colleges and universities; making college affordable for low- and middle-income students by increasing Pell Grants value; and easing the burden of student loans by making existing student loans cheaper and easier to pay off.

“This bill takes a positive step on one of the most common-sense student loan reforms by recognizing the need for better federal loan disclosures,” Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt said. “Borrowers deserve to know the true cost of federal student loans, and the Department of Education should bring federal loan disclosures, which currently mask the cost, in line with the pro-consumer standards required of private lenders.”

Hunt also noted, “the overall bill falls short when it comes to dealing with the cost of college, which has to begin with fundamental reforms to federal student loan programs. These virtually unlimited programs have fueled both skyrocketing tuitions and student debt burdens – and the bill remains silent on this fact.”

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