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

April 14, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Madeleine Dean (PA-04) reintroduced the Private Loan Disability Discharge Act (H.R. 2498) to protect totally and permamently disabled individuals and families from unfair lending practices.

January 22, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON This week, Congresswoman Dean was re-appointed to the House Financial Services Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. The Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over America’s housing and financial services sectors, including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities. While the Judiciary Committee focuses on justice in federal courts, administrative bodies, and law enforcement agencies.

December 22, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON — The House voted on the budget to increase non-defense spending by $12.5 billion, allowing for strong investments in American families and communities. The budget supports better schools, expands access to housing, tackles food insecurity, builds safer communities, and protects the environment.

December 9, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the House passed the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. Included in this defense budget will be necessary pro-labor measures, and PFAS water contamination efforts that were led by Rep. Dean. 

Rep. Dean led a bipartisan public private partnership incentivizing the research and development of a PFAS Free Firefighting foam, as PFAS has long impacted southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Additionally, Rep. Dean fought for the inclusion of the following provisions:

October 21, 2020 Press Release

Blue Bell, PA – Last night, Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-04) hosted her very first drive-in town hall at the Montgomery County Community College’s Blue Bell Campus. The drive-in town hall was an opportunity for constituents to safely connect with Congresswoman Dean. Topics included the COVID-19 relief and vaccine, the opioid crisis, climate change, the economy, and more. 

September 10, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON Last week, Reps. Dean, Adams, Waters and Senators Warren and Brown expressed support for student loan relief provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 and the William M. Mac Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

August 5, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON Last week, the House passed a package of the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, including Rep. Dean’s proposed funding for people with disabilities, pregnant and postpartum women dealing with substance abuse, the national PFAS health study, student loan borrowers, and gun violence prevention. 


July 21, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON Today, the House adopted Rep. Dean's amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act which would provide immediate relief to millions of private student loan borrowers including thousands of service members and veterans. The amendment would provide much needed assistance to roughly 4.5 million private student loan borrowers by providing up to $10,000 in immediate assistance to pay down the student loan.

July 6, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. — Representatives Dean, Pressley, Thompson, Velázquez, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Maloney, Hayes, Lynch, and Carson, urged CEO, John F. Remondi, of the Navient Corporation to reconsider current stock buybacks plans. This follows a disturbing pattern of behavior since Navient spun off from Sallie Mae back in 2014 – spending $3.2 billion in stock buybacks and $1.2 billion in dividend payments.

May 12, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, House Democrats introduced the Heroes Act, a comprehensive $3.3 trillion relief bill to address the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. For the duration of this economic crisis, Rep. Dean has advocated for relief for everyday workers, the smallest businesses, and student borrowers — the Heroes Act reflects these priorities.