House Democrats Introduce Legislation on College Affordability and Graduate Education

On September 15, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee Chair Frederica Wilson (D-FL) introduced the Lowering Obstacles to Achievement Now (LOAN) Act. If passed, the bill would provide significant investments to graduate education building on President Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan. The bill would:

  • Extend Pell Grant eligibility from the current 12 semesters back to 18 semesters as it existed before 2011 eligibility cuts related to a Pell Grant funding shortfall.
  • Allow students completing a graduate or professional degree to use any remaining Pell eligibility from their undergraduate studies.
  • Provides graduate and professional students attending public and non-profit institutions with access to subsidized loans at the same interest rate available to these students for unsubsidized loans.
  • Repeal origination fees for Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, as well as Direct PLUS Loans.
  • Extends Title IV eligibility to DREAMers students.

“This legislation highlights a commitment to making graduate education more affordable by maximizing the Pell Grant program,” Suzanne T. Ortega, CGS President said in a press release. “This ensures that individuals with exceptional financial need can meet changing workforce needs and pursue degrees essential to their career goals.”

Text of the bill can be found here. A title-by-title summary of the bill can be found here.

We encourage graduate deans to reach out to their congressional delegations to encourage swift passage of this bill before end of the 117th Congress.