Cassidy, GOP colleagues offer Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act package

U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) joined a Republican contingent of lawmakers to offer legislation that includes five bills addressing higher education costs, including one sponsored by Sen. Cassidy to increase college transparency.

“Our federal higher education financing system contributes more to the problem than the solution. Colleges and universities using the availability of federal loans to increase their tuitions have left too many students drowning in debt without a path for success,” Sen. Cassidy said. “Unlike President Biden’s student loan schemes, this plan addresses the root causes of the student debt crisis.”

The Lowering Education Costs and Debt Act, S. 1972, which Sen. Cassidy sponsored on June 14 with four GOP cosponsors.

If enacted, Sen. Cassidy said S. 1972 “puts downward pressure on tuition and empowers students to make the educational decisions that put them on track to academically and financially succeed.”

The larger bill includes the College Transparency Act, S. 1349, which would reform the college data reporting system so students and families have better information on student success and outcomes as they consider higher education institutions, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Cassidy’s office.

The larger bill also includes:

  • The Understanding the True Cost of College Act of 2023, S. 528, introduced in February by bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to require institutions of higher education to use a uniform financial aid letter with clear indications of the types and breakdown of aid included (scholarships, loans, work study, etc.) so students and their families can understand and compare their financial aid options; 
  • The Informed Student Borrower Act, S. 1970, which U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) sponsored on June 14 alongside cosponsors including Sen. Cassidy and U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). S. 1970 calls for students to receive clear information about the duration of their loan, their expected monthly payment, how much money they will likely make in the future after attending their school and program of choice, and for borrowers to annually receive this information through loan counseling;
  • The Streamlining Accountability and Value in Education (SAVE) for Students Act, S. 1971, which Sen. Cassidy cosponsored on June 14 with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). S. 1971 would streamline repayment options for borrowers from nine options to two, and would limit new loans to undergraduate and graduate programs where former students cannot earn more than a high school graduate or a bachelor’s degree recipient, respectively; and 
  • The Graduate Opportunity and Affordable Loans (GOAL) Act, S. 1968, which Sen. Cassidy also cosponsored with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) to allow institutions to set lower loan limits by program to protect students from over-borrowing.

The larger bill is supported by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and the American Enterprise Institute.