As a mother, grandmother, and former professor at LaSalle University, Rep. Dean supports high-quality, affordable education for all.

Debt and Student Loans

Since 2006, student debt in America has nearly tripled; almost 45 million borrowers owe $1.6 trillion, and the average borrower owes close to $33,000 and pays nearly $400 per month in debt service. Rep. Dean knows first-hand how these costs constrain opportunities for young people and their families.

Rep. Dean also recognizes that tackling student debt means addressing fundamental questions about how much an education should cost, who gets to go attend college, and how students will pay their debts over time.

To begin to address access and cost, Rep. Dean has co-sponsored H.R. 2679, the 529 Opening New Paths to Invest in Our Nation’s Students (529 OPTIONS) Act. This bill would allow students to use 529 savings plans to pay for apprenticeship programs. 

Rep. Dean has also tackled repayment challenges by introducing the Private Loan Disability Discharge Act. This legislation developed in response to outreach from a constituent. A woman in Pennsylvania’s Fourth District was struggling; her daughter had become totally disabled and was therefore discharged from her debt obligations, but the mother  as cosigner of the loan  was held responsible. Through the Private Loan Disability Discharge Act, cosigners will see their debt obligations discharged if a borrower becomes totally disabled.

Free Community College Through the America’s College Promise Act

Rep. Dean understands the powerful role of community colleges in expanding opportunity and preparing students for fulfilling careers. Alongside Rep. Andy Levin (MI-09), Vice-Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, she has reintroduced H.R. 4212, the America’s College Promise Act of 2019. This bill will create new partnerships with state governments and provide two years of tuition-free access to community college programs that lead to a degree or industry-recognized credential. The legislation will also expand pathways to minority-serving institutions.


Rep. Dean understands that curricula reflect our educational priorities. For this reason, she has cosponsored a series of bills to expand and deepen students’ exposure to important areas of study.

H.R. 943, the Never Again Education Act, gives schools and teachers the resources and training they need to teach our children the important lessons of the Holocaust and the consequences of intolerance and hate. 

H.R. 1094, the World Language Advancement and Readiness Act, authorizes competitive grants to support school districts that want to establish, expand, or improve innovative programs in world language learning for elementary and secondary school students.

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