Update to Higher Education Act Aims to Cut College Costs, Student Debt

Michigan Rep. Andy Levin helped craft the College Affordability Act, addressing cost, debt and job readiness.

U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives

The College Affordability Act was introduced in the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee last week.

It’s a comprehensive update to the Higher Education Act with provisions to tackle the cost of college, support services that help students get through college and lessen existing student debt.

Freshman Congressman Andy Levin is one of the authors. He represents Michigan’s 9th District, which includes parts of Oakland and Macomb Counties.

Levin’s America’s College Promise Act is a part of the package. The bill:

  • Pays for two years of community college for students attending programs that lead to a degree or industry credential in states that partner with the federal government
  • Increases support for institutions that traditionally serve minority students like Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges
  • Increases the dollar value of Pell Grants and makes them available to pay for some vocational training, and
  • Simplify the student loan repayment process and offer better terms to ease existing student loan debt.

There are even bills meant to block “survivor-blaming” Title IX rules created under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Levin says access to higher education is directly connected to access to better jobs and the ability to buy a home.

“I feel like we are really doing something to make that possible,” he says.

Click on the player above to hear WDET’s Sascha Raiyn interview Rep. Andy Levin on the College Affordability bill, and read a transcript, edited for clarity, below. 


  • Sascha Raiyn

    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.