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Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03), on Oct. 15, joined with Democrats on the Education and Labor Committee to introduce 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 and at a time when the combination of rising tuition and inconsistent quality is undermining students’ access to the benefits of a college degree.
“I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. I was able to attend because of an athletic scholarship. There are still too many students, who like me, face real cost barriers to continuing their education. Yesterday, I joined with my colleagues on the Education and Labor Committee to introduce a bold proposal to start fixing this issue. The College Affordability Act is a comprehensive plan to cut the cost of college so that students can spend less and earn more. I look forward to fighting to bring this bill to the full House,” said Congresswoman Trahan.
“I am also pleased that this bill contained several provisions that I fought hard for. Three pieces of legislation that I have sponsored in the House: The Clean Data In Higher Education Act; The Financial Aid Communication and Transparency (FACT) Act; and The Strengthen CTE in Higher Education Act were all incorporated into the final bill. These are all designed to make college more accessible to every family in the United States,” continued Congresswoman Trahan.
The Clean Data In Higher Education Act:
[H.R. 4430] Would clean up and eliminate data mismatches in our higher education system. Doing this will create a more transparent and equitable system that solves how institutions are defined by tracking data at the campus-level, and by maintaining the definition of an institution consistently across different agencies, offices, and purposes.
The Financial Aid Communication and Transparency (FACT) Act:
[H.R. 4343] Would ensure that all students receive clear, comparable financial aid offers from each institution they’re accepted to attend and during every year of enrollment.
The Strengthen CTE in Higher Education Act:
[H.R. 4371] Would authorize $200 million in funding to foster greater cooperation and alignment between Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and educational institutions and employers. The funding authorized by this bill is critical to making sure that individuals seeking a technical education are gaining the skills necessary to fill jobs currently in demand across our economy. Perkins is the primary federal funding source for high school, college and university CTE programs that are critical for preparing students for higher education and jobs in our local and regional economies. This bill would also bump up funding for tribally controlled postsecondary career and technical institutions by $10.5 million.
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.