When Congress returns after Labor Day, lawmakers will begin the long process of renewing the Higher Education Act (HEA), which expires at the end of this calendar year.
In response to a request from the leaders of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, on Friday we submitted our suggestions for rewriting the HEA, the sweeping law governing federal financial aid programs. These recommendations were signed by 39 leading higher education associations and accreditation organizations.
Last reauthorized in 2008 after five years of temporary extensions, HEA is likely once again to evolve slowly over months, or conceivably over years. As we commence this lengthy process, this document summarizes our initial thoughts on the issues that should play a prominent role, including:
- College access, persistence and completion;
- Better information for consumers;
- Student loan programs;
- Accreditation and appropriate oversight;
- College affordability and cost reduction;
- Innovation to benefit students;
- Federal regulatory burden; and
- Special focus programs.
We will be offering more specific suggestions in each area as reauthorization ramps up this fall, and I will be discussing further developments with you in the coming months in President to President. I welcome any ideas you might have as we—and Congress—move forward.
President to President will return in September after the August congressional recess.
Molly Corbett Broad
President of ACE