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Napolitano Praises Passage of College Opportunity and Affordability Act

February 6, 2008
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk) today praised passage of H.R. 4137, the College Opportunity and Affordability Act.  The bill addresses skyrocketing tuition prices and other roadblocks on the path to a college education by reforming our higher education system to operate in the best interests of students and families while boosting our competitiveness and strengthening our economic future.  Napolitano cosponsored the bill which passed by a bipartisan vote of 354 to 58.

“It is critical that we make sure a college education is accessible to all of our youth, regardless of their race, religion, or socioeconomic class,” said Napolitano.  “In recent years the cost of going to college has risen steadily and the American dream has become unattainable for many of our communities’ youngsters.  This bill will help ensure that none of our children are denied a college education because of the cost.”

Tuition and fees at public colleges have grown 31 percent after inflation in the last five years.  The College Opportunity and Affordability Act builds on the historic $20 billion increase in Federal student aid enacted by Congress last year by:
• Encouraging colleges to rein in price increases and provide consumers with helpful information;
• Restoring integrity and accountability to the student loan programs;
• Simplifying the federal student aid application process;
• Making textbook costs more manageable;
• Strengthening our workforce and our competitiveness;
• Expanding college access and support for low-income and minority students;
• Increasing college aid and support for veterans and military families;
• Ensuring equal college opportunities for students with disabilities; and
• Boosting campus safety and disaster readiness plans.

“In this time of economic difficulty it is vital that we provide our children with the college educations they need to be competitive in the global economy,” said Napolitano.  “This bill is a major step toward making college accessible to all and we will continue to work toward that attainable goal.”

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