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Coalition Commends Inclusion of College Access and Affordability Measures in H.R. 4872
Robert Brandon, Coordinator of the Campaign for College Affordability, released the following statement in response to the unveiling of H.R. 4872, The Health Care & Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010:
“I applaud Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairman George Miller of the Education and Labor Committee, who recently announced the inclusion of college affordability measures into the 2010 reconciliation budget bill. By integrating the health reform and student aid bills, the House leadership has displayed an unending commitment to students, workers, and their families.
“This legislation comes at a critical time for our country. America is falling behind in completion rates, while allowing debt to put financial strain on college students and graduates. Meanwhile, there is a huge gap in the middle-skill level work force, and predictions show that we will fail to meet our labor needs by 2025 with a shortage of 16 million college graduates. Low skill workers need training, and laid-off workers need new skills in order to meet the evolving requirements for success in today’s competitive global economy.
“H.R. 4872 will take the savings from the direct student lending reform and make landmark investments in higher education. The money from eliminating the wasteful subsidies of the FFEL program—approximately $67 billion dollars—will be used to fund an increase in the maximum Pell grant to nearly $6,000 by putting $36 billion into a program that ensures young people the opportunity to attend college.
“The savings will also be used to make investments in Minority-Serving Institutions such as HBCU’s, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges, to aid lower income students in receiving a quality higher education. The bill strengthens the Income-Based Loan Repayment system and allots funding for the Community Access Challenge Grant program. Investments in community colleges amounting to $2 billion will also help ensure fair access and worker retraining through partnerships and new programs.
“Our coalition of student groups, teachers, and workers unites to commend the announcement of this bill, and to urge its swift passage. To vote in its favor would be a historic stride for millions of Americans, helping to make college accessible and affordable to all and to decrease the burdens of education’s high cost and associated debt.”
For more information please contact Robert Brandon or Alyssa Martino at 202-331-1550. You can also visit www.collegeaffordabilitynow.org