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HOUSE APPROVES COLLEGE BILL

The House approved legislation Thursday aimed at curtailing rising college costs and limiting student debt.

The bill, which passed 354-58, calls on the Education Department to create a Web site that students and their families can use to compare the cost of attending different schools. Colleges are to be grouped according to how expensive they are and how quickly their costs have been going up. Schools with rapidly rising prices will have to explain what's behind the increases.

The bill also seeks to prevent states from reducing what they spend on student aid. States could lose federal money if they make such cuts. Democrats and Republicans say the bill, similar to one approved by the Senate, is needed because college costs have been rising faster than inflation.

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