College Affordability Act Promotes Economic Security and Equity

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

We applaud Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Susan Davis (D-CA) for introducing the College Affordability Act. This vitally important bill expands access to an affordable, high-quality education for millions of students and workers with low incomes, including those who have been historically marginalized in postsecondary education and the workforce. Since the Great Recession, 99 percent of new jobs have gone to individuals with at least some postsecondary education.

Importantly, the bill makes postsecondary education more affordable by increasing the purchasing power of Pell grants, making Pell Grants available to incarcerated individuals, allowing undocumented students to access federal student aid, and offering all students tuition-free community college. It also strengthens the capacity of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs)—institutions that enroll large concentrations of students with low incomes and students of color—by ensuring increased and permanent funding. This will allow HBCUs and MSIs to support students with an affordable education that leads to success in the workforce.

The College Affordability Act takes bold steps to promote economic security and advance equity for students and workers with low incomes. These students need high-quality postsecondary credentials that prepare them for family-sustaining jobs and careers that will improve their economic and social mobility and the health and wellbeing of their families.

CLASP will continue to work with members of Congress and our advocacy partners to ensure the House passes a comprehensive, inclusive HEA bill that promotes economic security and advances equity for all.