Reed proposals aim to cut college costs through transparency, dual enrollment

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) continues to champion proposals that aim to rein in college costs through transparency and the expansion of dual enrollment programs.

Reed’s Reducing Excessive Debt and Unfair Costs of Education (REDUCE) Act, which is still being revised by Reed, would require colleges with endowments of more than $1 billion to use a portion of generated profits for tuition relief.

“Having over $100,000 in student loans when we graduated from school, we understand the burden so many kids and families are carrying today from too high college costs,” Reed said on Monday. “It is simply unfair to allow another generation to labor under this kind of debt.”

Under the REDUCE Act, colleges could face tax penalties or lose tax exempt status for failing to distribute a portion of endowment profits to middle class families in the form of tuition relief.

In response to Reed’s work on the REDUCE Act, the House Ways and Means Committee has looked into allegations that colleges don’t always use tax-exempt endowments to directly fund educational initiatives.

“It is a disservice to the next generation of students that colleges continue to stock pile large sums of money that are tax exempt, and for which donors receive tax deductions, while tuition costs continue to rise,” Reed said. “We need to shed some sunshine on how endowments are being used and really get to the bottom of why the cost of college continues to skyrocket.”

Reed also sponsored a bill that would use existing federal education funding to establish a grant program that helps colleges develop and expand dual enrollment programs. These programs enable high school students to earn college credits before they graduate from high school.

Additionally, Reed sponsored the Flexible Pell Grant for 21st Century Students Act, H.R. 3180, which would enable students to finish college faster, thus saving money on tuition costs.

“There is no silver bullet for controlling college costs, but by working together and bringing sunshine to this issue, we can make sure students and their families are being treated fairly in long run,” Reed said. “It’s just the right thing to do.”

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