Lipinski Helps Pass Bill to Make College More Affordable

Last week, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) voted to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221), which would make college more affordable for millions of students and their families at no additional cost to taxpayers. The bill passed the House of Representatives 253 to 171.

"The value of a college degree has never been greater than in today's economy, which pits highly trained workers and innovative businesses from around the globe against one another," Lipinski said. "Unfortunately, the cost of higher education has also increased dramatically, and even before our economy fell into recession many students and families were having a tough time paying for college. This bill takes billions of dollars that would otherwise be going to bank profits and uses the money to increase federal student aid and help young people get the education they need to succeed and thrive."

The act generates savings estimated at up to $87 billion over 10 years by eliminating subsidies to banks in favor of a direct lending program. The money would be used to:

  • Increase the maximum annual federal Pell Grant scholarship to $6,900 over the next decade.
  • Invest $10 billion in community colleges, which are playing an increasingly important role in our educational system.
  • Invest $8 billion to improve early-childhood learning.
  • Invest $4 billion in school modernization, renovation, and repair projects.

"As a former college professor, I have always been a strong supporter of higher education," Congressman Lipinski said. "But I know very well from my experience that it can place a tremendous financial burden on families. This bill is a cost-efficient way to reduce the high price of higher education, and I will continue to work to make college more affordable for all my constituents."

(September 24, 2009)