July 31, 2008: Congressman Ryan Hails Passage of Higher Education Reauthorization Bill
Bipartisan Bill Includes Ryan Amendment to Lower Cost of College Textbooks
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Congressman Tim Ryan today joined an overwhelming majority of House members in giving approval to legislation that would address the high cost of a college education, including an amendment introduced by Congressman Ryan and cosponsored by Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA) that would help make college textbooks more affordable for college students. The amendment would create a nationwide pilot program to help expand the availability of college textbook rental programs by awarding competitive grants to colleges and universities that start rental programs on their campuses.
Other provisions of the College Opportunity and Affordability Act will allow students to receive year-round Pell Grant scholarships, strengthen college readiness and support programs for minority and low-income students, increase college aid and support programs for veterans and military families, and strengthen our nation’s workforce and economic competitiveness by boosting science, technology, and foreign language educational opportunities. This bill is a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the primary federal law aimed at expanding college access for low- and middle-income students. The Senate is expected to pass the legislation this week, after which it will be sent to the President for his signature.
“Helping more of our citizens attend college is the surest way to grow our economy, create a dynamic workforce and secure America’s future. Thanks to the passage of this bill, our students graduating high school and our veterans returning from service will now face fewer costs and hassles in trying to earn a college degree,” Congressman Ryan said.
The Ryan-Altmire amendment will expand efforts already underway at a number of colleges and universities around the country, including Bowling Green State University’s bookstore, whose textbook program saved 151 students $11,000 in the cost of new books. Other programs include a rental program at San Mateo County Community College in California that saved participants $707,483 over the course of two and half years and Appalachia State University in North Carolina, which saved students $3,133,200 in one semester.
“Textbooks are an often overlooked part of rising tuition costs; yet for many students, the skyrocketing costs of textbooks alone can mean the difference between attending college or not. My amendment will help make books more affordable for our students by giving them the option to rent their textbooks rather than purchasing them. In this economy, a quality education is a necessity, and we need to make it as affordable as possible for American families and students.”