What People Are *Actually* Saying About the So-Called “College Cost Reduction Act”

WASHINGTONToday, Committee Republicans will advance legislation—H.R. 6951, the College Cost Reduction Act—that would wreak havoc on our higher education system and inflict pain on students struggling to afford a college degree.

H.R. 6951 raises the cost of going to college for students and families by restricting access to federal student aid and affordable loan repayment plans, exposes students and taxpayers to predatory and low-quality institutions by repealing existing consumer protections, and fuels divisive culture wars by injecting politics into the accreditation process.

Here is what students, educators, experts, advocates, and colleges and universities are actually saying about the College Cost Reduction Act:

American Association of Community Colleges: “Congress badly needs to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, but in practice it can only do so if it is moved in such a fashion as to generate a substantial measure of stakeholder buy-in. The current proposed legislation does not meet that standard.”

American Council on Education: “Changing the need analysis formula as proposed by the committee will have detrimental effects on a student’s ability to borrow what they may need to obtain their postsecondary degree. Students are currently able to borrow up to the cost of attendance for good reason, as many students, especially low-income students, come from families with low wealth and the inability to cover all associated expenses.”

Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities: “APLU is deeply concerned about the legislation’s reliance on exceedingly complex and unproven metrics for high-stakes determinations locked in statute and ways in which the legislation lacks consideration of unique dynamics of state institutions as it relates to higher education finance and accountability. With more than three-quarters of all students in postsecondary education attending public institutions, these are critical factors for consideration.”

Coalition of Advocacy and Research Organizations: “Although this legislative package includes some new approaches to holding colleges accountable for student outcomes and incorporates some bipartisan proposals, the package also includes troubling provisions that, together, would leave students less protected from high-cost, low-quality, and predatory programs. Other provisions would weaken needed tools for oversight and make it more difficult for borrowers to repay their student loans. As your committee prepares to markup this legislative package, we ask Members to place students’ and borrowers’ interests first by only advancing legislation that would better protect them and ease the path to repayment.

“…students, borrowers, and taxpayers stand to waste billions of dollars on predatory, high-cost, and low-quality programs if this bill becomes law.”

Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions: “We are concerned with the impact of proposed language to prohibit member institutions from serving on our individual commissions. Accreditation is a peer review system that has been successfully used to strengthen American higher education for more than 100 years. The belief that such members are unable or unwilling to hold fellow institutions accountable ignores the long track record of commissions taking appropriate actions against institutions failing to meet accreditation standards.”

Federation of Associations of Schools of the Health Professions: “…FASHP has deep concerns with several proposed changes the bill would make. For example, the proposed elimination of...the PLUS loans program would harm low-income health profession students, making it harder for them to earn their degrees and ensure the public receives the highest level of care from highly qualified professionals.”

National Education Association: “The College Cost Reduction Act contains several provisions that are extremely troublesome and would deny students—especially those in underserved communities—access to higher education.”

Student Protection Borrower Center: "Make no mistake, H.R. 6951 is a dangerous attack on working families masquerading as the solution to the college affordability and student debt crises. In reality, this bill will snatch the dream of a higher education from countless students and drive millions of borrowers and their families into the jaws of the predatory private student loan industry...This bill is the latest in an ongoing effort on the Hill to actively obstruct efforts to provide meaningful debt relief to millions, often at the expense of their own constituents. Now, these same lawmakers are trying to gaslight the American people into thinking that they are proposing solutions."


Press Contact

Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853