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Democrats on the House Education and Labor committee passed the College Affordability Act (CAA) on October 31. The bill, which would reauthorize the Higher Education Act, cleared the committee along party lines by a 28-22 vote.

Days prior, NACUBO, along with 32 other higher education associations, signed on to a community letter addressing areas of support and concern in the bill.

The committee added and approved some amendments to the bill, including changes that would:

  • Increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $625, rather than the $500 increase proposed in the original bill.
  • Set minimum standards and clarifications for institutions’ net price calculators.
  • Create a committee to examine the economic effect of federal student loan forgiveness.
  • Expand funding for skills training at community colleges.
  • Reinstate subsidized federal loans for graduate students.
  • Require schools to disclose to students and prospective students when their non-instructional spending increases by more than 5 percent.

The legislation will now go to the House floor, where committee chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) says he hopes to see it passed by the end of 2019. It is unlikely that the Republican-controlled Senate would pass a bill similar to the CAA.


Bryan Dickson

Assistant Director, Advocacy and Student Financial Services


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