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Tell your representatives to support the College Affordability Act

The College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), has cleared the House Education and Labor Committee and is headed to the floor. NEA supports the bill and successfully advocated for expanding eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness to include adjunct and contingent faculty—a huge victory.

Tell your representative to support H.R. 4674 and your senators that students and educators need a comprehensive HEA reauthorization.

56 responses to “Tell your representatives to support the College Affordability Act

  1. My son recently completed his first semester of college and is getting ready to go back to his second semester. Both my husband and I are college graduates and are still repaying student loans. We thought there was an option to defer our loans as we are the ones signing for our son’s loans. No such luck! We have to continue paying our loans with the worry of adding more debts or putting the burden on our son. We, as Americans, represent the “free world”, yet academically, we are so far behind so many countries. Could it be that these loans are major factors that contribute to college drop out, or students not attending college at all, especially when a job to repay the loans are not a given. Inability to repay loans eventually leads to a negative credit report. It appears that without your support and the College Affordability Act, we are in a cycle of negative balances.

  2. When I entered the University of Tennessee in 1972 my father deposited 1500 dollars in my checking account. Most of it had been earned by working on our farm growing tobacco, gardening and feeding calves. This amount was enough to pay for three quarters of college expenses. If a student was diligent it was possible to earn enough money by working part time during the school year and full time during the summer to pay for a year of tuition, fees and books. I did not graduate with any student debt – a good thing since I became a teacher and did not receive a paycheck for six weeks after I started to work. I do not believe that a college education should be free; however support for public education should be a level that it is possible for a student to work their way through college without the huge debts that are being piled up as they are today.

  3. Teachers do not teach their personal beliefs on topics. Schools are neutral zones, facts are presented from both sides. If you fully believe that homosexuality should not be brought up that you are requiring people to push a particular philosophy, rather than giving information and allowing students to make up their own minds. You cannot have it both ways. These are issues that current in the world and of importance to some families and individuals. Just because you don’t believe it should be discussed doesn’t mean it should if we are not teaching one-sided argue. An omission is a form of teaching a particular point of view, as schools teach about issues relating to heterosexuals in health classes.

  4. I believe that all secondary education programs: college, vocational and trade schools need to be considered when making decisions on how best to finance our future. Educational finance reform and our myopic concerns for collage degrees need to be revisited.

  5. Please think of the students who deserve the best education the United States can offer and it should include ALL STUDENTS and should be affordable for all.

  6. Everyone should be able to go to college with a life time debt. We need these young people to be able to get their degree

  7. The College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA), I want to encourage you to vote in favor of this measure.

  8. As a teacher, to keep my teaching certificate, I had to get a Master’s Degree. I am still paying for my Master’s 4 years after I retired, even though I worked in Title 1 school. My student loans were not forgiven. Then when my sons went to college, I had to take parent loans out to help fully find their college education. The college burden is not just the students, it’s their parents too!

  9. When I entered college in the late ’60s as a foreign student it cost me about $500 a year for tuition and fees at a public university. It seemed excessive because resident students were paying less than $150. Current annual fees at the same school are now almost $12,000 and $6,000 respectively. Education has lost its value in this culture because it does not return the SHORT TERM financial gains that now dominate policy decisions. College students are not “contributing” to the economy in the short term so they are valueless. K-12 education suffers from the same policy attitude. The ruling class here can afford to pay for private education for their offspring. And if there is a shortage of capable workers H1-B visas will cure that. Why pay to educate American students when some foreign government pays for the education of their students and our “titans of industry” can import them with HB-1 visas? It is a sickening scenario that requires paradigm change in this society. Support the College Affordability Act to start movement in the right direction.

  10. The number one priority in our country should be education for all. Our country’s future leaders (i.e. our youth and young adults)need to learn how how to be creative problem-solvers and team players in order to address the major challenges our country and our world are facing today.

  11. An educated citizenry is the backbone of a healthy democracy. The expense and resulting debt to students for a college education is debilitating to our society both financially and culturally.

  12. I worked to support my children and to ensure they were able to attend college – which they did. Although I’m on Social Security but continue to work, I’m paying off the loans I took out to help my kids. I believe in the importance of challenging, college curriculum fostering critical thinking for those who desire to expand their knowledge and understanding of life and history. If we are to grow and society and culture, all young people need to be encouraged and supported in obtaining a higher degree.

  13. The College Affordable Care Act is a must in today’s Society. Our students have a hard time dealing with their studies and routine no less working two or three jobs to pay for their needs and college debits. Many students tend to drop out because of the stress they endure to keep up. The one’s that seem to really need this Affordable Act pass ASP are those who happen to be in the wrong zip-codes that we seem to ignore. Why is that? Are we not suppose to be all equal according to our Constitution? But then again not to our Government. I would hope that both sides put away their differences and PASS the College Affordable Act NOW. Thank you.

    1. I agree and an important part of the plan should be to improve the overall quality of all teachers in Missouri by having the state pay an equal salary to urban and rural teachers to hold onto good teachers at the elementary, junior high, high school and college level state-wide.

      Squeezing out teacher pay based on property taxes is a racist and elitist approach to providing monies for teachers’ pay to all school districts.

  14. Free quality community college should be available to all high school qualified American students. A sharply graduated federal and state income tax should be implemented and corporate tax loopholes to pay for it and other essential needs.

  15. We need to reThink, restructure Higher Education. It’s 2020 and we need a system that is more in line with our societies needs for the future, not the past. A free College Education is an important part of that future.

    1. Ike,

      I appreciate your compassion, but who is going to pay for “free college tuition”? We live in a state that is in a financial morass due to poor management and over spending. I worked my way through college. It was difficult, but I developed a heightened sense of esteem by helping to pay my own way. I treasured my college experience.. Let our young people work and struggle to lift themselves up and they will be the great achievers that our state needs. One more question, Free tuition will not guarantee that they remain in Connecticut.

    2. Crippling our youth with huge college loans is bad for the future of our future and our economy.
      Students are not going to college because they do not want to be saddled with debt for the next 29-30 years. If they do go they can not afford to buy a house or spend money that would strengthen our economy..

  16. It’s heartbreaking to see the grossly overwhelming cost of college and high interest rates which accumulate while college students are in school. Both of my children have over $200,000 in student loan debt and I still have $65,000 after 20 years! The working class can not afford to pay for their children’s college tuition and our children do not qualify for financial assistance. How can I be denied to co sign for my children’s student loans based on my income to debt ratio when at the same time FAfsa says that my family contribution should be $50,000 a year ($2000 less than my annual income). Affordable college costs should be available to all students regardless of race, income, gender, Or social economic status of patents !!! Help those who want to help themselves by becoming educated productive members of society.:.only then will we see the positive changes we dream of for our country and world.

  17. I was a college professor for 34 years before I retired. I don’t feel the public schools are funded like they used to be. Private schools should NOT be funded with public taxes. I usually felt that public schools gave students a better education.

  18. Are they teaching civics in school anymore? The number of people left so far behind because they are unable to know when they are voting against their own interests is mind boggling.

    1. Good point.
      All students should be assigned Jill Lapore ‘s new American history, “These Truths,” and Danielle Allen’s “Our Declaration.”

    2. Also, we need to emphasize that forming citizens is a crucial educational goal. These days, education’s purpose seems to training employees and consumers, not citizens who enrich democracy. Dewey got it right

    3. We are not only not teaching civics but also working at minimizing history and any true broadening of minds. Just the important facts and no thought. Problem is mankind needs critical thinking and not robots but robot education is winning here and around the world. Look at the places that JUST encourage math and science with no political science are mostly autocratic societies and they frequently need to steal technology because the critical stuff in not thought about but blind politics are followed.

  19. When Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn compared the homelessness and depression, the loss of hope in the USA with other nations and economies in Tightrope, a note worthy point is lack of educational opportunities in the USA. The rich do not have these battles, but the poor have less competitive public schools, more struggles in life with basic necessities and fewer support systems. Look to nations leading in the care for their citizens and the positive results and strength of their economic diversity and educational successes.

    1. The USA should provide as many and much educational opportunities as the individual will and can use. We must move from being a mediocre third world country to what we can become.
      Impeach trump.

  20. Something needs to be done to insure diversity of thought and action in our country. Please realize that the interests of the rich to keep college to themselves does not support a country with the critical mass of ideas needed in our society.

  21. Public universities should be entirely free. Tax the big corporations instead of students and their families, which is what tuitions are, a BIG TAX on citizens.

  22. My husband is a public school teacher and I am a teaching assistant at a private school because I have not been able to get a job even though I have a Masters in Special Education. Our Combined student loan debt is almost 300,000, which is crippling as we barely make enough to pay our mortgage for our tiny 3 bedroom rancher w/ 2 children in one of the lowest tax areas in NJ. I believe it also has the lowest average cost of living in the state as well. We both commute an hour plus to work every day and I work a second job 2 nights per week. We also work several jobs in the summertime because his district only offers 10-month teacher pay. I know that we are among many other teachers in NJ who are paying so much in healthcare costs & student loans that we can barely keep our houses, vehicles &!put food on the table, let alone maybe once every few years take our children on a vacation ( we are still paying for a disney trip from 3 yrs ago which was onlybpossible because of help from our extended family). So the possibility of going again in the next 5 years or ever again is probably non-existant. This bill has my support 100%

  23. I whole-heartedly believe that the future of our great nation lies in the hands of the educated. It is with great confidence that I believe our legislative branch will guide us to a nation that relies on knowledge, not ignorance, for the advancement of the United States. Make Affordable Education a reality for all Americans.

  24. Dear Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey and Representative Jim McGovern:

    As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to support H.R. 4674 in the House and in the Senate in order to help ensure that that students and educators will obtain a comprehensive HEA reauthorization.

    NEA supports the bill and has successfully advocated for expanding eligibility for Public Service Loan Forgiveness to include adjunct and contingent faculty huge victory. Therefore, I now look to you and other members of Congress to support this college affordability act.

    Sincerely Yours,
    Catherine Kappel
    Leominster, MA 01453

  25. It’s about time, college cost has increased around 200% every since minorities and other marginalized groups were able to take advantage of education.

  26. Texas is way behind the curve in public schools. Parents who can afford to send their children to private schools do so because our public schools do not offer a diverse curriculum for our students.

  27. Having two daughters and a parent plus loan at $110,000 as you approach retirement is insane. They took on some debt too! I can’t save, I can’t go on vacation, I can’t make needed repairs to my home. We thought we could handle it, but my husband’s health is failing so the second income isn’t there.

  28. Our children are our future. It does take a village to raise a child, every child needs a community in order to thrive, and every child needs support to embrace their gifts. Education is key for successful societies.

  29. Having both of our young adult children graduating from a 4 year university is a source of pride but it does not come without some disappointment at the current state of affairs in the Department of Education. Now both of our grads will be paying back their student loans just like my husband & I did 30 years ago. A generation later it is a more of a challenge with the road blocks that the Dept of Ed places by favoring the lenders & not the grads. Public Service Loan forgiveness for faculty is one component that needs to be implemented for a win win!

  30. I also hope that this affordability act will include the tremendous financial burden that many former graduates and parents are suffering from the heavy payments of student loans.

  31. Dear Morgan,

    I hope you are supporting The College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674). Our nation is soooo far behind on this issue!!! If the two poorest countries in our hemisphere, Cuba and Nicaragua, along with nations in Europe, offer FREE university education to their young people, why can’t we? The debt our young people are carrying is truly such a burden!!!

    All the best to you, your family, and your staff,

    Phyllis

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