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What Is the The Aim Higher Act? Democrats’ Plan to Make College Affordable

A landmark step.
Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer

The cost of college tuition is beyond the reach for the majority of Americans. As the price of higher education continues to compound, Democrats have decided to take action. The Democrats have drafted a legislative proposal that calls for debt-free college.

A 2017 report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy determined that more than 70% of middle class and working Americans could not afford college tuition, even if those students were able to take out the maximum amounts of Federal student loans. Given that many jobs require a college education for a minimum wage, an unaffordable higher education has become a requirement for even the lowest standard of living.

“We want a world where parents do not have to choose between college or their kids or paying the rent. Where borrowers do not have a lifetime of debt because of a college degree where race gender and socioeconomic status do not determine professional success,” said Rep. Susan Davis.

U.S. students owed more than $1.3 trillion in student loans, according to the Pew Research Center. In response, Republicans recently introduced the PROSPER Act, which essentially makes college less affordable. A proposal that is literally designed to do harm, rather than assist the millions of Americans who are drowning is astronomical student loan debt, the PROSPER act has the potential to cut $15 billion from student aid, redirecting those funds to for-profit programs and other sources of corporate interest.

The Democratic response, via the House Education and Workforce Committee, is a new proposal designed to lower the costs of attending college and provide students with debt-free education. The policy is similar to state level programs that are in place in 20 states.

“This is a common sense, comprehensive bill that works for the young people of this country. It increases investments in financial aid and make the majority of Pell grant funding mandatory and creates new incentives that will offer states to offer two-years of tuition-free community college – as we’ve already done in my state of Rhode Island,” said said Rep. David Cicilline.

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    Chris Heide is the recipient of the Kaplan Award for Narrative Journalism and is the co-Founder and ... keep reading