College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007

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The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 (H.R.4137) was a bill in the 110th Congress "to amend and extend the Higher Education Act of 1965, and for other purposes." (Official title)[1]

The legislation has been approved by both the House and Senate, and is awaiting President Bush's signature.

Article summary (how summaries work)
  • Requires the government to make available online a list of the most expensive and least expensive colleges on a website, along with a list of the colleges that have had the largest increases in tuition and fee rates over a three year period (Sec. 109).[2]
  • Requires the colleges with the largest increases in tuition and fee rates to submit a report describing the causes of these increases (Sec. 109).[2]
  • Requires textbook publishers to disclose the retail cost of textbooks and supplemental materials before selling them to school officials (Sec. 110).[2]
  • Requires textbook publishers that bundle textbooks and supplemental materials to also make the textbooks and supplemental materials available separately (Sec. 110).[2]
  • Requires colleges and lending institutions to disclose to the government any preferred lender relationships (Sec. 115).[2]
  • Prohibits colleges from entering into any kind of revenue sharing arrangement with lenders (Sec. 115).[2]
  • Expands federal Pell Grants to allow awards of up to two grants for students taking more than two semesters or the equivalent each year (Sec. 401).[2]
  • Raises the maximum Pell grand from $5,800 to $9,000 per academic year (Sec. 401).[2]


Contents

Key votes

  • Vote to pass a bill that makes changes to regulations regarding student costs for attending colleges, relationships between colleges and lenders, and student aid.[2]

House

The House first considered the bill on February 7, 2008.



The House approved the conference report on July 31, 2008.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Drum Major Institute 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Although a college education is increasingly a prerequisite for a middle-class standard of living, current and aspiring middle-class students and their families are struggling more than ever to afford college. Average tuition and fees at four-year public institutions have increased 51% over the last five years, while the maximum Pell Grant, designed to provide financially strapped students with an opportunity to attend college, has failed to keep pace. The Higher Education Opportunity Act’s increase of the maximum Pell grant will make college accessible to more aspiring middle-class Americans. Additionally, the expansion of the Pell Grant program to include year-round education supports the hardest-working students struggling to complete their educations quickly. The Act also addresses students’ increasing reliance on private lenders to finance their college education. It makes necessary improvements to a student loan system that has been characterized by favoritism and murky lending practices by putting an end to the most egregious conflicts of interest and expanding the information available to students and families deciding what colleges to attend and what loans to take out."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.drummajorinstitute.org/library/report.php?ID=63)

Senate

Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Drum Major Institute 2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Although a college education is increasingly a prerequisite for a middle-class standard of living, current and aspiring middle-class students and their families are struggling more than ever to afford college. Average tuition and fees at four-year public institutions have increased 51% over the last five years, while the maximum Pell Grant, designed to provide financially strapped students with an opportunity to attend college, has failed to keep pace. The Higher Education Opportunity Act’s increase of the maximum Pell grant will make college accessible to more aspiring middle-class Americans. Additionally, the expansion of the Pell Grant program to include year-round education supports the hardest-working students struggling to complete their educations quickly. The Act also addresses students’ increasing reliance on private lenders to finance their college education. It makes necessary improvements to a student loan system that has been characterized by favoritism and murky lending practices by putting an end to the most egregious conflicts of interest and expanding the information available to students and families deciding what colleges to attend and what loans to take out."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.drummajorinstitute.org/library/report.php?ID=87)

Supporters

  • American Federation of Teachers
  • Campaign for Environmental Literacy
  • Child Welfare League of America
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Council of Environmental Deans and Directors
  • Motion Picture Association of America
  • National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association
  • National School Boards Association
  • U.S. Public Interest Research Groups
  • United States Student Association

Articles and resources

References

  1. OpenCongress’ info page on College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 (H.R. 4137).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Project Vote Smart’s info page on College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007 (H.R. 4137).

External resources

External articles

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