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Democrats’ College #unAffordability Act: What They’re Saying

Today, the House Committee on Education and Labor continued its consideration of the Democrats’ so-called College Affordability Act. Instead of working with Committee Republicans on a bipartisan proposal to fix our broken higher education system, the Democrats are advancing legislation that doubles down on failed policies that hurt students, families, and taxpayers. Don’t take our word for it, here’s what others are saying:
 
The bill is a combination of good, bad, ugly and God only knows. It proposes a vast expansion in the federal government’s control of the academic affairs of every college and university in the country. This will be very controversial.” Terry W. Hartle, Senior Vice President for the American Council on Education
 
“The Chamber believes that institutions representing all sectors should be treated fairly, and therefore, opposes provisions that single out for-profit institutions simply because of their tax status. The Chamber opposes provisions such as those that would change the ‘90-10’ rule or that would codify Obama-era gainful employment and borrower defense regulations.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce 
 
“The bill contains many provisions that would substantially increase administrative burden, adding new layers of reporting requirements and mandating staff positions on college campuses that will drive up the expense of advancing our education, research, and engagement missions. Ultimately, the impact of such expenses will be felt by students in either tuition and fees and/or the services they receive.” Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities
 
“One of the critical dividing points among the associations is the free community college proposal.  NAICU has deep concerns with the program. Foremost among them is that by funding institutions instead of students, the proposal detracts from the longstanding federal policy to provide aid to students, rather than institutions.” National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
 
“Excessively complex and detailed reporting requirements lead schools to spend significant time on compliance activities to mitigate the risk of sanctions. Rather than serving students, schools will instead spend time and resources determining if a particular incident fits a particular definition.” Higher Education Community
 
“Much in the so-called College Affordability Act (CAA) has been proposed before, though there are some new and creative ways to spend taxpayer money on investments that likely won’t pay off.” Forbes
 
 “AGB is concerned about uncertainty around provisions related to institutional accountability. Specifically, the new on-time loan repayment rate metric leaves the repayment thresholds up to future determinations by the Secretary of Education.”  Association of Governing Boards
 
 “The bill significantly diminishes the role of institutional mission of colleges and universities as the foundation of accreditation judgements about quality, with many provisions in the bill taking a one-size-fits-all approach. The centrality of peer review and formative evaluation by accreditation is lessened, replaced by a focus on meeting requirements set by government.” Council for Higher Education Accreditation
 
 “The College Affordability Act includes absolutely no provision to drive down college costs or insulate taxpayers from students’ inability to pay off their loans. In fact, through increased access to income-based repayment, taxpayers are even more exposed.” Heritage Foundation
 
“The CAA includes ill-advised provisions allowing for federal refinancing of private education loans. This destructive proposal would leave consumers with just the Department of Education and its myriad of performance and service problems.” Consumer Bankers Association  


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