For the past decade, college costs have been increasing at an alarming rate. However, even more so alarming is the rate at which student loan debt has been climbing – so much so that it is now referred to as a student loan debt crisis. The issue has made its way to every Congressional, Senate and Presidential race platform, ignited protests around the country and prevented college graduates from hitting major life milestones like getting married, buying a home and having children. Essentially, it’s a big problem – which still needs a big solution. Despite the fact that politicians promise to alleviate the issues at hand, there has been little evidence of real change. Last month, the Committee of Education and Labor introduced the College Affordability Act, which would work to lower the cost of college for students, improve the quality of higher education and provide students with more support to be successful in and out of college. The new Act would reauthorize the Higher Education Act, according to the Center for American Progress, which was the first bill that worked to strengthen colleges and universities and provide financial assistance to students.Pell Grant amounts were increased, interest rates on student loans were decreased and income repayment on student loans was capped at 15% of a graduate’s discretionary income. It also required colleges to place a net price calculator on their websites so that students and their parents could find the true cost of college at the institutions they were considering.• Prevent the rising cost of tuition. The committee hopes to alleviate ever-increasing college costs by restoring state and federal investments. • Increase Pell Grants. Doing so will make college more affordable for low- and middle-income students. There is also a measure to make Pell Grants available for short-term programs. • Make college loans cheaper. This will help eliminate the burden of student loans by making them easier to pay off. • Hold schools accountable. The Act would crack down on “predatory” for-profit colleges and ensure that colleges are setting students up for success after graduation. • Improve student safety.This measure would introduce stronger accountability in order to track and prevent sexual assault, harassment and hazing. • Helping students academically. The committee wants colleges to better invest in their students by providing better wraparound services. • Increase mandatory funding to HBCUs, TCUs and other Minority Serving Institutions. This final measure would ensure investments to institutions that enroll underserved students. The College Affordability Act fact sheet provides a detailed breakdown of the details for each point.