Arlington, VA (Oct. 31, 2019) — The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) applauded the House Committee on Education and Labor for passing the College Affordability Act, which would reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The HEA governs how tens of billions of federal student aid dollars are awarded and holds colleges accountable for the education they provide to students.
The College Affordability Act would, among other things:
- Increase the maximum Pell Grant and index it to inflation so that grant dollars would maintain their purchasing power;
- Reduce and simplify the federal loan programs and repayment options available to students;
- Simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as well as improve the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program; and
- Restore critical regulations designed to protect students and taxpayers from unscrupulous colleges, such as rules covering gainful employment and borrowers’ defense to repayment.
In addition, the legislation would also prohibit the use of forced arbitration agreements; extend in-state tuition rates to homeless and foster students; make incarcerated individuals eligible for Pell Grants; provide undocumented students who become citizens or permanent residents access to federal financial aid programs; invest in TRIO and GEAR UP, programs that help low-income students enroll and succeed in college; and create a student record system to help colleges and other interested parties track student progress from matriculation through graduation.
“The College Affordability Act is a strong bill and one that NACAC is pleased to support,” said Joyce Smith, the association’s CEO. “Over the past several years, we have seen a college degree pushed out of reach for many students due to cost. This bill makes important investments that will reduce those costs. Just as importantly, the bill seeks to hold colleges accountable for the education they provide students. Without these provisions, billions of taxpayer dollars will be wasted and employers will not have access to a pool of talented workers to hire from.”
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.
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