Access for minority students to attend Ivy Leagues could become even more stifled by next year.
The Atlantic reports that members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce discussed a bipartisan bill that would ban private colleges and universities such as Harvard University and Yale University from accepting federal student loans. Instead, the bill would enact the expansion of short-term Pell Grants.
According to Congresswoman Lucy McBath, the goal of the bill “is to require institutions with large endowments to meet the financial obligations of all students.” However, The Atlantic notes that not only would the bill make middle-class students and graduate students more likely to have to take out private loans but also is “a new threat to diversity” at elite colleges.
Thirty-seven representatives voted yes for the bill while eight voted no.
The vote comes nearly six months after the the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that affirmative action violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and struck down the programs at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University, as previously shared by AFROTECH.
“I find it astounding that the very Democrats who railed against the Supreme Court on affirmative action voted yes on this bill,” said Amy Laitinen, senior director for higher-education policy at New America told The Atlantic. “How can we say we are concerned about diversity at the elite institutions in this country and take away the ability for anybody who is not exceedingly wealthy to pay to attend?”
The outlet shared that the National Association for Independent Colleges and Universities found that roughly 64,000 students could lose $1.8 billion in student loans if the bill were to pass. In addition, “the money that would otherwise be necessary to originate and service students loans at wealthy, highly selective institutions would be used to cover the short-term grants.”
If the bill passes, federal loans will no longer be accepted at wealthy institutions starting July 1, 2024.