WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — On Tuesday, House Democrats unveiled a plan they said would cut the cost of college, increase the quality of higher education and make a college degree available to more Americans.
Supporters said the higher education system is broken and this is their plan to fix it.
“We can no longer afford to do nothing when 44 million Americans are saddled with $1.5 trillion in debt,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Pelosi said the “College Affordability Act” aims to lower costs by expanding federal Pell grants and public service loan forgiveness programs. Congressman Bobby Scott said the bill removes the financial barriers and improves access to a quality education.
“Restores state and federal investments in public colleges and universities, which will reduce the burden that has been shifted to students and families over the years,” said Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia).
The bill would set aside millions of dollars for states to identify gaps in academic achievement and prioritize aid for colleges who serve minorities and low income students.
In addition, lawmakers including Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-California) want to hold schools accountable for students’ success.
“It cracks down on low quality skills programs that provide students meaningless credentials that have no value in the job market,” Davis said.
The bill would also lower the cost of student loans for existing and future borrowers.