House lawmakers introduce bill in response to college admissions scandal

House lawmakers introduce bill in response to college admissions scandal
© Stefani Reynolds

Two House lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at easing the burden of paying for higher education and incentivizing colleges to help students obtain well-paying jobs upon graduation.

The bill — spearheaded by Reps. Mark GreenMark GreenTackling China in modern Cold War New policy at Interior's in-house watchdog clamps down on interactions with press Senate leaves for five-week August recess MORE (R-Tenn.) and Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) — comes in response to the college admissions bribery scandal that involved celebrities and CEOs paying large sums of money and encouraging cheating to ensure their children were accepted into top schools.

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The measure would allow students to make “income share agreements” with their university of choice, allowing them to pay or repay tuition using a percentage of their future earnings. The bill’s authors argue it would help even the playing field and lessen the financial burden many students face with student loans.

“When our country is reeling from bombshell reports that have taught us some members of America’s elite class have gamed the systems of higher learning by bribing admissions counselors and bumping deserving kids from families with less money and influence onto wait lists, now more than ever we need policy solutions that would open up the college admissions process to deserving children from struggling families,” Green said in a statement.

Gonzalez said he hopes the bill will push universities to play a larger role in working to place its students in higher-paid positions after graduation, since they will have more at stake.

“Currently, over 44 million Americans are burdened by $1.5 trillion in outstanding federal student loan debt. This bipartisan legislation would aim to level the playing field by allowing alternative repayment options through income share agreements,” he said in a statement. “More importantly, the bill would ensure colleges and universities are doing their part to put graduating students on the pathway to a good paying job.”

The admissions cheating scandal has already prompted lawsuits and other legislation in Congress.