Two Price Bills Included in Landmark ‘College Affordability Act’

October 15, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC (October 15, 2019) – Today, Congressman David Price (D-NC), a former college professor, joined the House Committee on Education and Labor to introduce the College Affordability Act, a comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s higher education system. This reauthorization of the Higher Education Act incorporates two of Congressman Price’s bills: the Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act (H.R. 2562) and the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act (H.R. 2728). 

The College Affordability Act focuses on lowering the cost of college for students and families, improving the quality of higher education through stronger accountability, and expanding opportunity by providing students the support and flexibility they need to succeed. The bill also strengthens teacher and school leader preparation programs, invests in our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), expands student access to crucial grant programs, and improves campus safety.

“Exorbitant college debt is burdening millions of students and their families, and forcing some Americans to choose whether to pay down debt or start a business, buy a home, or start a family,” said Congressman Price. “With college costs on the rise, the problem is only worsening, closing the door to opportunity for too many prospective students. I’m proud that two of my bills have been included in the comprehensive College Affordability Act, which will help tackle the student debt crisis and pave the path to opportunity for current and future students.”

The following components of the College Affordability Act reflect bills authored by Rep. Price:

  1. Advancing International and Foreign Language Education: This title of the bill continues our nation’s investment in language, cultural, and regional education by increasing the authorization level of Title VI programs to $125 million. It also codifies and modernizes several grant programs that assist undergraduates, graduates, and professional students in language mastery and area studies. Finally, the bill would expand the opportunities available for qualified Minority Serving Institutions or their partners to receive these grants. (Title VI, page 13)
  1. Joint Consolidation Loan Separation: This bill addresses the unintended consequences of the legacy Department of Education joint consolidation loan program. From 1993-2006, married couples could combine their loans and both be jointly liable for repayment, which proved problematic in the event of a divorce. Congress eliminated the program in 2006 but did not provide individuals with a means of severing their existing loans under the program, even in the event of domestic violence, economic abuse, or an unresponsive partner. This bill would give individuals who remain liable for this consolidated debt the ability to separate the remaining balance and only be held liable for their share. (Title IV, page 7)

To read a fact sheet on the College Affordability Act, click here.

To read a title by title on the College Affordability Act, click here.

For more information about the College Affordability Act, click here.