Last week, I joined with my colleagues on the Education and Labor Committee in introducing the College Affordability Act - a bold, comprehensive plan to lower the cost of college and give student borrowers the relief they desperately need.
As the only New Jersey member on the Education and Labor Committee, I am dedicated to fighting for teachers and students, and this bill just does that.
Researchers have estimated that for every dollar that states spend on higher education, states receive up to $4.50 back, so why wouldn't we want to continue to invest in higher education?
What does the College Affordability Act do?
Lowers the Cost of College
Makes college affordable for more students by increasing the value of Pell Grants.
Eases the burden of student loans by letting students and graduates refinance their loans.
Increases the Quality of Education
Holds all schools accountable for providing students a quality education that leads to a rewarding career.
Improves students’ safety on campus by introducing stronger methods to track and prevent cases of sexual assault, harassment and hazing.
Expands students’ access by making Pell Grants available for short-term programs.
Helps improve graduation rates by providing services to keep students in school and on track to graduate.
The College Affordability Act included five of my bills and initiatives, 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.
How will it benefit New Jerseyans?
64% of New Jersey college students graduate with student debt, with the average student loan debt per borrower being $33,593.
I recently held a roundtable with students and faculty from South Jersey where they echoed these same concerns. I will continue to think of these students, and students all across South Jersey, as I fight for better, more affordable education.
Thank you, as always, for your time.
Member of Congress