To address rising college tuition by strengthening the compact between the States, the Federal Government, and institutions of higher education to make college more affordable.


College Affordability and Accountability Act - Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) to require state maintenance of effort in providing funding to public institutions of higher education (IHEs).

Requires all IHEs to plan, engage in, and report on cost containment strategies. Authorizes the Secretary of Education to conduct research on such strategies. Directs the Secretary to publish an annual report on college affordability and to disseminate certain data, including the net price tuition index (NTPI) for each IHE through a college price calculator on an enhanced college opportunities on line (COOL) website.

Establishes a Pell Plus program to provide an increased award to each Pell Grant recipient at IHEs that maintain specified types of: (1) low tuition; (2) guaranteed tuition; or (3) affordable tuition.

Establishes a program of grants for cooperative education for IHEs that restrain tuition increases.

Authorizes grants and contracts forcooperative education demonstration and innovation projects, training and resource centers, and research.

Directs the Secretary to commission the National Research Council to study the viability of developing and implementing standards in environmental, health, and safety areas to provide for differential regulation of: (1) industrial laboratories and facilities; and (2) research and teaching laboratories.

Authorizes the Secretary to select IHEs, IHE systems, or IHE consortia for voluntary participation in an articulation agreement demonstration program to specify the acceptability of courses in transfer toward meeting specific degree requirements, as a means to lower tuition prices for students.

Directs the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance to convene a task force of experts to: (1) determine the best methods to finance higher education in the long-term; (2) help public institutions utilize long-term budgeting; (3) review the trends of financing of higher education; and (4) define the role played by the states, the federal government, families, and outside entities in financing higher education, and determine the best methods to strengthen this partnership.

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