Bills to make college more affordable advance from House committee

state-capitol2Two bills aimed at making college more affordable were passed unanimously by the House Appropriations Committee on Monday. The two bills, both introduced by Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), would cap student athletic fees and give smaller and mid-sized schools more flexibility over administrative decisions.

“Making college more affordable is a central focus of our agenda this year and these two bills are first steps towards doing that,” said Cox. “We cannot continue to saddle our young people with massive student debt. Limiting athletic fees and giving schools more administrative flexibility will help drive down the cost of higher education.”

“Virginia has some of the best institutions of higher education in the world, but the costs are simply growing too fast,” said Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “Virginia students are borrowing over $1 billion per year to pay for college, and that’s going to hurt their long-term prosperity. These are good bills to help make college more affordable for families and students. I look forward to their final passage later this week.”

House Bill 1895 would grant additional administrative flexibility to several of Virginia’s smaller and mid-sized public colleges and universities. Under this legislation, these schools would be given greater administrative and financial autonomy.

House Bill 1897 would limit the amount of athletic revenue that colleges and universities collect from mandatory student fees. The caps will be applied differently to Virginia’s Division I, Division II and Division III schools. Institutions will have five years to incrementally reduce mandatory student fees as a percentage of overall athletic revenue.

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