Press Release

The full House should take up this comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization ASAP

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2019) – Today, Wil Del Pilar, vice president of higher education at The Education Trust, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the House Education and Labor Committee for passing the College Affordability Act (CAA), a step toward advancing opportunity and improving outcomes for students of color and students from low-income families.

“We are particularly pleased to see the amendment from Reps. Jayapal (D-WA) and Wilson (D-FL) that requires the Government Accountability Office to examine racial and socioeconomic disparities in our public higher education system. The findings would likely confirm what Ed Trust’s recent “Broken Mirrors” reports have shown: underrepresented students of color face unequal access to all levels of public higher education. Also, the $625 increase to the maximum Pell Grant included in CAA would help more students pay for college. Furthermore, Rep. Omar’s (D-MN) amendment, which contains language to examine how student loan forgiveness could be designed to close the racial wealth gap, would be an important contribution to race-conscious higher education policy. These policy changes are sorely needed improvements. Finally, the bill overturns the unwise and harmful 1994 ban on Pell Grants for students who are incarcerated.

“Overall, the bill would create a more student-centered higher education system and address pressing needs throughout American higher education. We look forward to the full House taking up the College Affordability Act as soon as possible.”