H.R.4674: College Affordability Act


The College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674) would be a comprehensive overhaul of the Higher Education Act (HEA). This bill would be the first reauthorization of the HEA since 2008.

Notable provisions in the bill include:
1) Preventing for-profit colleges from targeting veterans by limiting the proportion of a school’s funds from either the Education Department or the GI Bill to 85% of its total funding.
2) Reducing the number of questions students have to answer to apply for federal student aid.
3) Blocking a forthcoming regulation from the Education Department that would modify how colleges handle sexual assault claims and reinstating a rule that requires for-profit colleges to show how the degrees they confer result in gainful employment for their graduates.
4) Increasing funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities through increased aggregate bond limits and greater allotments.
5) Forgiving loans for students who were rejected for a program discharging the loans of qualifying public service and non-profit workers.
6) Increasing the Pell Grant for low-income students by $500 in the first year, and then expanding the grant with inflation.
7) Allowing Pell Grants to be used for short-term programs focused on preparing students for a technical skills-based career.
8) Funding for debt-free two-year community colleges through a voluntary federal-state 3 to 1 partnership.
9) Repealing the ban on Pell grants for incarcerated individuals.

In September, HELP Committee Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released the Republican version of HEA reauthorization, the Student Aid Improvement Act (S. 2557). Though a handful of provisions similar provision can be found in each bill, such as Pell Grants of prisoners and expanded funding for Historically Black Colleges, the significant differences come down to provisions regarding student loan forgiveness and free community college.


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Our Stance




Bill Number


Date Introduced

October 15, 2019


House Education and Labor Committee

Bill Status

Introduced or Prefiled