Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the House Republican Higher Education Act Reauthorization Bill
December 01, 2017

“For more than 50 years, the Higher Education Act has been the federal government’s most important and effective means for helping low- and middle-income students and families finance a higher education. Reauthorization of this landmark law is overdue, but it is vital to undertake this complicated process in a way that does not undermine access to and the quality of postsecondary education at a time when the nation needs more of both.

We will examine closely the bill released by the Republican majority on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. We are pleased that the bill includes many of the recommendations from the report of the bipartisan Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education. These steps will simplify and streamline federal mandates to help campuses reduce administrative costs and better serve students.

However, we are deeply concerned that the proposal would undermine decades of federal policy aimed at helping students at the undergraduate and graduate levels afford a high-quality higher education. Most notably, this measure would immediately lead to higher interest charges every year for some six million student borrowers and eliminate 1.5 million financial aid grants. Regrettably, this is the second time in a month that the House will consider a proposal to significantly increase the cost of federal student loans.

This week’s action is just one step in what has been and will continue to be a long and winding process toward reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. We look forward to working with the House and the Senate to achieve a final measure that expands access to educational opportunity, fosters innovation and cutting-edge research, and grows the next generation workforce this country needs to compete in a global economy.”

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