Representative Madeleine Dean

Representing the 4th District of Pennsylvania


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.

More on Education

January 3, 2020 Press Release

JENKINTOWN, PA – Today, Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) announced that the Air Force has disbursed $2.8 million in funds that will allow Horsham Air Guard Station (formerly Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove) to partner with the Warminster Municipal Authority to build a permanent containment and filtration system for PFAS-contaminated surface water.

December 17, 2019 Video
December 11, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) discussed the progress of two of her bills to make the student loan system fairer and more equitable.

Private Loan Disability Discharge Act (H.R. 4545)

November 19, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) introduced the Reauthorization of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity Act (H.R. 5171).

As an independent advisory body, NACIQI issues recommendations to the Secretary of Education on college accrediting and accrediting agencies that determine which colleges are eligible for billions of dollars in federal financial aid each year. NACIQI was originally established as part of the 1965 Higher Education Act.

October 1, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Last week, Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) introduced two pieces of legislation to fix aspects of the student loan system.


Private Loan Disability Discharge Act


September 16, 2019 Press Release

GLENSIDE, PA – On Monday, September 16, Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) and Rep. Andy Levin (MI-09) hosted a student debt town hall at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell. Joined by interim MCCC President and Provost Vicki Bastecki-Perez and approximately 70 students, faculty, and community members, Reps. Dean and Levin discussed the scope and scale of America’s student debt crisis – and how their new bill could help alleviate it.

July 25, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON  Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, along with vice chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, Congressman Andy Levin, and House Democratic colleagues re-introduced the America’s College Promise Act to 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 proposal would also create a new grant program to provide pathways to success at minority serving institutions.


May 20, 2019 Press Release

 WASHINGTON – Recently, Congresswoman Madeleine Dean (PA-04) and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) introduced the Promoting Reentry through Education in Prisons (PREP) Act.  The legislation would ensure that incarcerated individuals receive the educational opportunities they need to successfully reenter their communities after completing their sentences.  Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.