College Affordability Act

A new bill being proposed could help eleviate the stress and burden that the financial aspect of college places on students and their families

There is something new in the works to help change the burden that paying for college puts on students and their families. It is called the College Affordability Act. This bill is being spearheaded by the House Committee on Education and Labor, led by Chairman Bobby Scott.

The main points of this bill are that it would lower the cost of college for students and their families by reinvesting in higher education, it also would improve the quality of higher education and it would allow more opportunities for students from all different backgrounds.

First, in lowering the cost of college by reinvesting in higher education it creates a partnership between the federal government and state government encouraging states to reinvest in their public colleges and universities. This, in turn, would lower the cost of college for students and their families.

The partnership would give federal funding to states that make community college free, it would increase the value of Pell Grants so that more tuition can be covered and students can have more money to pay for food, housing, books, etc. It also expands programs like dual enrollment to allow students to earn free college credit while still in high school.

The CAA would also make it easier for students and families to take out student loans by making it cheaper and easier to pay off. It would essentially eliminate the hidden fees attached to student loans, creates a fixed amount repayment plan and an income-based repayment plan. It would also simplify the FAFSA to make the process easier to understand.

This bill also holds schools accountable by improving the quality of higher education. It creates this accountability by not allowing access to taxpayer money for institutions that cause a large share of student loan defaults and spend more on marketing and lobbying than on educating students. 

It also helps improve the cultures on campuses by encouraging and supporting campus diversity and enforcing compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin.

Finally, it allows for opportunities for more students. Pell Grants will be eligible to be used for quality short programs that can help graduates begin successful careers while they are also able to pursue two-year or four-year pathways to a degree. 

The CAA also creates these opportunities by allowing incarcerated students a second chance. It repeals the ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students so that they can receive the same education as others and be granted the same opportunities.

As college students, this is a very important bill to stay up to date on. It can help many students and families all over the country. Though it is complex it is also very detailed and driven to make college accessible to all students in the United States of America.

The Captains Log sat in on a student press call with Congressman Bobby Scott and Congresswoman Jahana Hayes in order to learn more about the bill. Make sure to keep up to date on this bill in case it can help you

~Joshua Scrabeck, Staff Writer~

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