Congressman Fattah Joins as Original Co-Sponsor of America's College Promise Act to Make Community College More Affordable for Pennsylvania Students

Jul 09, 2015, 11:22 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, Congressman Fattah continued his efforts to make higher education accessible and affordable to all by co-sponsoring a piece of legislation that has the potential to make college a reality for thousands of Pennsylvania students. Fattah joined Democratic colleagues as an original co-sponsor of the America's College Promise Act of 2015, a bill that would make two years of community college free for eligible individuals.

"I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of this critical legislation that would open the doors to higher education for students across the United States," Congressman Fattah said. "Education remains the great equalizer in our country and this bill seeks to eliminate the financial barriers that dissuade bright and hard-working students from pursuing the opportunity to earn a college degree and gain the skills and education necessary to compete in our 21st century workforce. America's College Promise Act is a significant step towards making sure that every student who wants to attend college has the opportunity to do so."

The legislation would benefit an estimated nine million students if every state in the country were to participate. In addition to easing the financial burden of paying for community college, the legislation will provide grants that enable low-income students the option to pursue a bachelor's degree at a greatly reduced cost for two years at a minority serving institution. The provision recognizes these institution's—including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)—role in graduating low-income, minority, and first-generation students.

"America's College Promise Act recognizes the importance of community colleges and their role to the nation's prosperity," said Dr. Donald Guy Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia.  "The investment proposed will propel our nation into the lead of the world's economy. And it will enable our hard-working students to reach their academic goals in a more timely fashion." 

Fattah, who has been a leading Congressional supporter of policies to make college more accessible for all Americans, introduced a House resolution in January, H. Con. Res. 10, supporting President Obama's College Promise plan that would make community college free for responsible students.

Throughout his Congressional career, Fattah has worked to promote initiatives that graduate more of the country's young people from both high school and college. He is architect of GEAR UP, the nation's leading college readiness program, which to date has served more than 13 million students nationwide. Fattah is also co-creator of the Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission, a bipartisan group that has advised the Department how to remedy the inequity in the country's public education system.


SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah