Legislative Tracker Archive: Improving Affordability

Legislative Tracker LogoOn this page, you'll find proposals that aim to improve affordability in innovative ways for students outside of grant or campus-based aid funding proposals. Use these links to jump to a specific session of Congress. 

117th Session of Congress

H.R.7040/S.3818 — Affordable College Textbook Act

Sponsor: Rep. Neguse [D-CO]
Cosponsors: 0
Sponsor: Sen. Durbin [D-IL]
Cosponsors: 3 (2D; 1I; 0R)
Introduced: 03/10/2022
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would bolster the use of open textbooks and other open education resources across college campuses to help reduce the cost of textbooks for students. The bill would create a grant program that would be awarded to institutions to pay for professional development for faculty and staff members to search for and review open textbooks, create or adapt open textbooks, and develop supplemental materials that support the use of open textbooks.

H.R.6108 — Community College to Career Fund in Higher Education Act

Sponsor: Rep. Kelly [D-IL]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 12/01/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would create a grant program that would aim to support partnerships between two-year colleges and local businesses. Priority for the grants would be given to institutions that are focused on serving individuals with barriers to employment such as veterans or incumbent workers who are low-skilled and are located in areas with high unemployment rates. The partnerships created would be those that focus on job training-related efforts, such as apprenticeships and paid internships for low-income students that allow them simultaneously to earn credit for work-based learning in a high-skill field.


S.3359 — CREATE Graduates Act

Sponsor: Sen. Casey [D-PA]
Cosponsors: 3 (3D; 0R)
Introduced: 12/09/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would allow students who completed credits at a two-year college and then transferred to a four-year college but never finished a degree to transfer their credits back to the two-year college to receive an associates degree, if eligible. 


H.R.5691 — TEACH for Tomorrow Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Gallagher [R-WI]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 10/22/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would update some of the reporting requirements for institutions who participate in the TEACH grant program. Institutions would be required to also report the percentage of students who passed teacher certification or licensure by the State assessments on the first attempt as well as a comparison of the program's first attempt pass rates with the average first attempt pass rate for programs in the institutions state. The bill also allows the Secretary of Education to impose a fine of up to $150,000 on institutions who fail to report this required information in a timely or accurate manner, the current fine limit is $27,500. Additionally, to be eligible to participate in the TEACH grant program, institutions must not have a first attempt pass rate of lower than 75% in addition to the previous eligibility requirements. If a school becomes ineligible to participate in the program, the Secretary would still be required to pay the institution for the student's who were enrolled in the program while the institution was eligible. 


H.R.5595 — College Student Hunger Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Lawson [D-FL]
Cosponsors: 27
Introduced: 10/15/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would expand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility to students who have a $0 Expected Family Contribution, meet the financial eligibility criteria for a maximum Pell Grant, or are an independent student whose household is otherwise eligible. The bill would require that ED notify students that they may be eligible for benefits when they file a FAFSA. In addition, the bill would create a SNAP student hunger demonstration program that would allow students to use their SNAP benefits at on-campus dining facilities at up to ten institutions.


S.2755 — College Completion Fund Act of 2021

Sponsor: Sen. Heinrich [D-NM]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 09/15/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would require ED to make grants to States to distribute funds to participating public institutions to provide student support services to increase participation, retention, and completion rates of students from low-income backgrounds, historically underrepresented students, first-generation college enrollees, parenting students, students with disabilities, and student veterans.


H.R.5222 — Closing the College Hunger Gap Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Hayes [D-CT]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 09/10/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would require the Secretary of Education to notify college students of their eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) using Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information. ED would also need to provide to potentially eligible students the contact information for the state agency that administers SNAP in their state. Additionally, this bill would require questions to be added to the NPSAS that measure rates of food and housing insecurity on college campuses.


S.2620 — Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act of 2021

Sponsor: Sen. Peters [D-MI]
Cosponsors: 3 (1D; 2R)
Introduced: 08/05/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would expand opportunities for high school students to obtain college credit in an effort to make higher education more accessible and affordable. The bill would rely on FIPSE funding to carry out it's initiatives including, curriculum design and development, assisting students in the program in covering education-related costs such as tuition and fees, and providing professional development opportunities to educators.

H.R.4399 — Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act

Sponsor: Rep. Ruiz [D-CA]
Introduced: 07/09/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would increase additional grant funding for Hispanic-serving institutions with a primary focus on the development of student support programs aimed at advancing students from four-year institutions to doctoral programs in the healthcare field. These funds will also be used to assist with expanding access to dual enrollment and early college high school programs. 


H.R.4090 — Making Education Affordable and Accessible Act

Sponsor: Rep. Harder [D-CA]
Cosponsors: 1 (1R)
Introduced: 06/23/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would expand access for high school students to participate in credit-based academic transition programs that enable students to earn postsecondary credentials while in high school. If enacted, this bill would provide grants to institution in order to carry out these programs to support the following activities: offering school staff with quality professional development, designing curriculum and course sequences, establishing course articulation agreements, creating outreach programs to promote such programs, and coordinating secondary and postsecondary services and calendars.


H.R.3393 — Diversify Act

Sponsor: Rep. Garcia [D-IL]
Cosponsors: 42
Introduced: 05/20/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill aims to diversify the teacher workforce by eliminating financial barriers to the teacher preparation programs. This bill primarily increases the maximum TEACH Grant award from $4,000 to $8,000 per year. Additionally this bill would protect the TEACH grant award from being cut by the Budget Control Act; eliminate the loan conversion penalty; and allow the TEACH grant to cover the full cost of attendance, rather than solely tuition, fees, and on-campus housing. 

H.R.1319 — American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Yarmuth [D-KY]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 02/24/2021
Signed into Law: 3/11/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This act set aside $40 billion for higher education to create a new tranche of higher education emergency relief funding. The act stipulates that at least half of the funds must go directly to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants. The act also includes a provision that would close the so-called 90/10 loophole, though this new rule would not go into effect until July 1, 2023 at the earliest.

116th Session of Congress


S.3095 - Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Education Act

Sponsor: Rep. Warren [D-MA]
Cosponsors: 4 (2D; 2R)
Introduced: 12/18/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would develop accessibility guidelines for instructional materials used in postsecondary education, as well as provides incentives for institutions of higher education to follow the guidelines while still offering flexibility for schools while reiterating that pre-existing obligations still apply.


H.R.5350 - Diversifying by Investing in Educators and Students to Improve Outcomes For Youth Act

Sponsor: Rep. Garcia [D-IL]
Cosponsors: 28 (28D; 0R)
Introduced: 12/06/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would increase the TEACH Grant annual amount from $4,000 to $8,000 as well as would increase the total aggregate amount to $32,000. 


S.2899 - Student Apprenticeship Act of 2019

Sponsor: Sen. Bennet [D-CO}
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 11/19/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would create a grant program that would encourage the establishment of apprenticeships between institutions of higher education, employers, and workforce intermediaries. Students would be able to earn college credit, industry credentials, and compensation for their work. Employers would pay at least 25 percent of the student’s college tuition and fees. This bill would also expand the FWS program to include apprenticeship programs.


H.R.4747 - Making College More Affordable Act

Sponsor: Rep. Cicilline [D-RI]
Cosponsors: 3 (3D; 0R)
Introduced: 10/18/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would create a new loan type, a Federal Interest Free Education Loan, eliminating all other direct loan programs. The loan would carry a 3.76% interest rate for the lifetime of the loan with an aggregate borrowing limit of $90,000.


H.R.4674 - College Affordability Act

Sponsor: Rep. Scott [D-VA]
Cosponsors: 83 (83D; 0R)
Introduced: 10/15/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: The College Affordability Act, a comprehensive HEA reauthorization bill would expand student eligibility for the Pell grant, expending the Pell LEU from 12 to 14 semesters. It would also remove the requirement that eligible male students register with Selective Service before applying for financial aid. The bill creates a FAFSA simplification plan, that sends students down 3-pathways on the FAFSA depending on their income and family circumstances. It also adds some standardization to financial aid offers. Repayment plans would be limited to only two options under the CAA, an income-based plan, or a fixed plan. Origination fees would be eliminated with the bill, and borrowers would now be eligible for a one-time student loan refinancing. 


H.R.4638 - Degrees Not Debt Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Carbajal [D-CA]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 10/11/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would increase the maximum amount of the Federal Pell Grant, increase the income threshold for auto-zero EFC calculations as well as creates a simplified FAFSA application for low-income families.


H.R. 4414 - Electronic Books Opening Opportunity for Knowledge Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. DelBene [D-WA]
Cosponsors: 2 (1D; 1R)
Introduced: 9/19/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would seek to reduce the cost of textbooks for undergraduate college students by encouraging institutions, through a grant program, to make digital course materials available in at least two different academic departments. 


H.R.4253 - Empower Parents in College Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Johnson [R-SD]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 9/09/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: Empower Parents in College Act would allow institutions to allocate a portion of funds under the Strengthening Institutions Program to establish, improve, or expand partnerships with child care providers. 

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Publication Date: 2/15/2023

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