Norcross Announces Introduction of the College Affordability Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) joined Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Members of the Committee on Education and Labor in introducing the College Affordability Act – a comprehensive overhaul of the higher education system that lowers the cost of college for students and families, improves the quality of higher education through stronger accountability and expands opportunity by providing students the support and flexibility they need to succeed.
The landmark legislation comes more than 10 years after the last reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and at a time when the combination of rising tuition and crushing debt is undermining students’ access to the benefits of a college degree.
“The College Affordability Act invests in America’s schools, teachers and students, makes college more affordable, provides student debt relief and prepares graduates for meaningful careers,” said Congressman Norcross, New Jersey’s only member of the House Education and Labor Committee. “South Jersey is a leader in higher education innovation and I worked to incorporate our successful, cost-effective models into this national effort. We must provide every student with the tools to learn and the opportunity to succeed in their career – and this bill does exactly that.”
“The College Affordability Act is a responsible, comprehensive overhaul of our higher education system that would mean students can spend less and earn more,” said Chairman Scott. “This proposal immediately cuts the cost of college for students and families and provides relief for existing borrowers. At the same time, it improves the quality of education by holding schools accountable for their students’ success and it meets students’ individual needs by expanding access to more flexible college options and stronger support – helping students graduate on time and move into the workforce.”
The College Affordability Act:
- Tackles the rising cost of tuition by restoring state and federal investments in public colleges and universities, which will reduce the burden that has been shifted to students and their families.
- Makes college affordable for low- and middle-income students by increasing the value of Pell Grants.
- Eases the burden of student loans by making existing student loans cheaper and easier to pay off.
- Simplifies the FAFSA for students and their families.
- Cracks down on predatory for-profit colleges that defraud students, veterans and taxpayers.
- Holds all schools accountable for providing students a quality education that leads to a rewarding career.
- Improves students’ safety on campus by blocking Secretary DeVos’s survivor-blaming Title IX rule and introducing stronger accountability to track and prevent cases of sexual assault, harassment and hazing.
- Expands students’ access to high-quality programs by making Pell Grants available for short-term programs.
- Helps improve graduation rates by providing stronger wraparound services to keep students in school and on track.
- Invests in the critical institutions that enroll underserved students by increasing and permanently reauthorizing mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and other Minority Serving Institutions.
Congressman Norcross’ bills and initiatives are included in the College Affordability Act, including provisions to:
- Encourage and expand cost-effective higher education models like Rowan University’s 3+1 Program.
- Allow students to refinance their student loans.
- Create a federal-state partnership to provide for tuition-free community college.
- Provide fellowships for graduate students planning to teach in the fields of STEM and special education.
- Make remedial education programs more effective and less expensive.
To read a fact sheet on the College Affordability Act, click here.
To read a title by title on the College Affordability Act, click here.
For more information about the College Affordability Act, click here.
Contact: Michael Maitland