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House Democrats Release Proposal to Expand Education Access to Low-Income Students
The Aim Higher Act would fund free community college tuition, invest in Pell, streamline loan repayments, and improve data and accountability, helping millions of low-income students access affordable higher education.
Washington, DC – Today, House Democrats unveiled their higher education reform proposal, the Aim Higher Act. The bill would expand access to higher education for low-income students, enable more students to complete their education, make the system easier for borrowers to navigate, and enact new protections for students and borrowers from predatory practices and poor educational outcomes.
In response to the release of the Aim Higher Act, Reid Setzer, Government Affairs Director Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:
“Young people have been waiting a decade for Congress to reform higher education in the face of exploding student debt and growing racial and socioeconomic attainment gaps. Students urgently need lawmakers to make higher education less expensive and more responsive to their lives.
Last year we saw Congressional Republicans introduce the PROSPER Act, which slashed funding for higher education and made accessing college and repaying loans harder for students. Rather than gutting the supports young people need to succeed, the Aim Higher Act recognizes the challenges facing students and offers practical solutions to begin solving them. Students have been waiting far too long and it is a relief that the Aim Higher Act starts addressing problems in the current system.
This bill should be a starting point for Congress when considering how to make higher education more responsive to what young people need. By investing in free community college tuition, increased aid to start combatting crippling levels of student debt, a more borrower-friendly student debt repayment process, and expanded student support systems like affordable childcare for student parents, the Aim Higher Act will move us towards making higher education work better for students.”
The Aim Higher Act would:
- Establish federal-state partnerships to make community college tuition-free
- Increase the maximum Pell award by $500, an essential source of federal financial aid for millions of low-income borrowers, and index future increases to inflation
- Simplify the FAFSA, making enhanced aid programs accessible to millions more students
- Simplify and improve the student loan repayment system by offering one income-based plan with borrower-friendly terms that offer loan forgiveness after 20 years of on-time payments based on an individual’s disposable income, and preserve Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Expand federal financial aid to DREAMers, those with drug convictions, and those incarcerated to ensure they have pathways to valuable degrees and skills
- Fund supports for students that promote completion like on-campus childcare for student parents
- Create a data system to provide students and families with the information they need to make the best decision for them when selecting a school
- Improve the consumer protections for students and borrowers from predatory and poor-performing schools.