A bill for revamping Higher Education- ‘College Affordability Act’- was passed by the House Education and Labor Committee on 31 October. The House Democrats passed the bill out of committee following more than forty proposed amendments made to it in a span of 3 days. The bill was initially introduced 2 weeks ago in one media conference with Representative Bobby Scott and Speaker Pelosi and other members.
In many ways, the ‘College Affordability Act’ is similar to ‘Aim Higher Act,’ a bill which was released by the Democrats while they were in minority.
As originally introduced, the ‘College Affordability Act’ included many provisions to enhance affordability for American higher education and a few other changes to enhance accountability. The provisions for affordability include free-of-tuition community college as well as a rise in Pell Grant by $500. The bill further also enhanced requirements around student loan default accountability, accreditation and for-profit accountability.
In the beginning of the bill’s markup, the Democrats introduced one amendment which made some alterations to the originally introduced bill. The most noteworthy tweak was one change in the rise in Pell Grant by a further $500, making the max grant amount $6,820 for fiscal year 2021. The changes further included subsidized loans meant for graduate student, except for the ones studying at for-profit educational institutions.