Press Releases

Reps. Porter, Lee, and Hayes Relaunch College Affordability Caucus

Congresswomen lead 20 members in working on policies to help families to afford higher education

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45), alongside Congresswomen Susie Lee (NV-03) and Jahana Hayes (CT-05), relaunched the College Affordability Caucus. The group spearheads policies that will drive down the sticker price of higher education. 

In relaunching the caucus, Porter hosted a briefing with members and Caitlin Zaloom, an expert on the financial challenges that students and families face trying to save for and afford college. 

“Every young person who is willing to do the work should be able to get the education they need to thrive,” said Porter, a former public university professor. “Too many families have to forego higher education or take on mountains of debt to make it work. The College Affordability Caucus will tackle the urgent education debt crisis holding our economy back, but we’ll also look at fixing the underlying problem skyrocketing tuition prices. ”

“I paid for college through a combination of scholarships, loans and part-time jobs, so launching the College Affordability Caucus is personal to me,” said Lee. “I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pursue higher education, but the reality is that hundreds of thousands of bright young Americans miss that chance because the cost is just too high. The cost of college has increased by more than 25% over the past 10 years, forcing working families to take out crushing loans and the student debt crisis to escalate beyond control. I firmly believe that anyone who wants a four-year degree should be able to do so without saddling themselves with a mountain of debt, and I look forward to working with the Caucus to tackle these urgent issues.”

“This Caucus will focus on college affordability and barriers to accessibility,” said Hayes, 2016 National Teacher of the Year. “I am happy to join my colleagues in raising awareness on this urgent issue, and working to craft and advance solutions to help the next generation of learners not have to make the difficult choice of earning a degree or amassing crushing debt.”

The College Affordability Caucus will meet regularly throughout the 117th Congress to identify and discuss policies that will make it easier for families to afford higher education. 20 members of the House of Representatives have joined the College Affordability Caucus so far. A full list of members can be found HERE.

A consistent advocate for students, Congresswoman Porter has fought to drive down the costs of higher education and conduct proper oversight of for-profit universities. Last year, she introduced bipartisan legislation to extend student loan relief to the nearly 2 million borrowers excluded from the CARES Act. She also backed legislation to make a student loan forgiveness program permanent for borrowers who were defrauded or misled by their schools, as well as a bill to protect student borrowers and increase transparency and accountability within the student loan servicing industry. Porter also called out Argosy University after reports that students hadn’t received financial aid funds.

The College Affordability Caucus’s mission statement can be read HERE.