House Democrats unveil college affordability plan

United States House of Representatives Democrats have unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the federal higher education law, aiming to increase access to college for low-income and minority students with huge infusions of financial aid and the creation of a US$94 billion programme that allows states to offer tuition fee-free community college, writes Erica L Green for The New York Times.

The legislation, the College Affordability Act, would update the Higher Education Act of 1965 for the first time in more than a decade, at an estimated cost of US$400 billion over 10 years. Its prescriptions for financial aid, debt repayment and free community college are unlikely to clear the Republican-controlled Senate, but progress in the House could prod the sclerotic Senate to move forward on its version of a new higher education law.

The House bill would use federal funding to prod states to pay the upfront costs for students to attend community colleges. It would increase the size of federal Pell Grants, which help low-income families supplement college costs. It would simplify student loan applications and federal loan repayment plans. And it would block the Trump administration from rolling back Obama-era rules that cracked down on for-profit diploma mills and demanded tougher investigations of campus sexual assaults.
Full report on The New York Times site