Committee Democrats Unveil Comprehensive Legislation to Lower the Cost of College

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on Education and Labor introduced the College Affordability Act—a comprehensive overhaul of the higher education system that lowers the cost of college for students and families, improves the quality of higher education through stronger accountability, and expands opportunity by providing students the support and flexibility they need to succeed.

The landmark legislation comes more than 10 years after the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and at a time when the combination of rising tuition and inconsistent quality is undermining students’ access to the benefits of a college degree.

The College Affordability Act is a responsible, comprehensive overhaul of our higher education system that would mean students can spend less and earn more,” said Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03). “This proposal immediately cuts the cost of college for students and families and provides relief for existing borrowers. 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.

“This legislation achieves all of these important goals, while spending a fraction of the cost of the GOP tax cut. The College Affordability Act is a proposal that Members across the political spectrum should be able to support. It is a necessary and sensible response to the challenges that students and families are facing every day.

The College Affordability Act:

  • Tackles the rising cost of tuition by restoring state and federal investments in public colleges and universities, which will reduce the burden that has been shifted to students and their families.
  • Makes college affordable for low- and middle-income students by increasing the value of Pell Grants.
  • Eases the burden of student loans by making existing student loans cheaper and easier to pay off.
  • Cracks down on predatory for-profit colleges that defraud students, veterans, and taxpayers.
  • Holds all schools accountable for providing students a quality education that leads to a rewarding career.  
  • Improves students’ safety on campus by blocking Secretary DeVos’s survivor-blaming Title IX rule and introducing stronger accountability to track and prevent cases of sexual assault, harassment, and hazing.
  • Expands students’ access to high-quality programs by making Pell Grants available for short-term programs.
  • Helps improve graduation rates by providing stronger wraparound services to keep students in school and on track.
  • Invests in the critical institutions that enroll underserved students by increasing and permanently reauthorizing mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other Minority Serving Institutions.

To read a fact sheet on the College Affordability Act, click here.

To read a title by title on the College Affordability Act, click here.

For more information about the College Affordability Act, click here.