Financial Aid

The Issue

Financial aid is a primary issue for ACE and the higher education association community, reflecting the vital role it plays for students, families, campuses and the nation as a whole. The range of federal aid programs, from Pell Grants to Federal Work-Study to Stafford Loans, encompasses a variety of processes and broader issues, including congressional appropriations, access, student debt load and streamlining the application process. ACE is at the forefront in working with Congress on policies that maximize federal support for all students, with a particular focus on low-income and historically underserved communities.

Our Work

Letters, Bill Summaries, and More

Letter to the Department of Education on Student Loan Repayment Transition
Letter to the Department of Education on Student Loan Repayment Transition
ACE and the other higher education associations write to Secretary Cardona urging ED to share the full details of what is planning to do to help students and colleges during the transition to resuming student loan repayments.
Letter to Congress on Higher Education Priorities in the Build Back Better Plan
Letter to Congress on Higher Education Priorities in the Build Back Better Plan
ACE and a coalition of higher education organizations urge House and Senate leadership to preserve critical investments in college affordability and completion in the final Build Back Better package.
Letter to Congress in Support of the Higher Education Provisions in the Build Back Better Act
Letter to Congress in Support of the Higher Education Provisions in the Build Back Better Act
Letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging Congress to retain the level of higher education funding and key tax provisions provided in the Build Back Better Act passed by the House Budget Committee.
Letter to House Leadership on Repealing Pell Grant Taxability
Letter to House Leadership on Repealing Pell Grant Taxability
Letter from ACE and other assocations to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging them to repeal the taxability of Pell Grants in the FY 2022 budget reconciliation process.
Letter to the Senate Finance Committee on Repealing Pell Grant Taxability
Letter to the Senate Finance Committee on Repealing Pell Grant Taxability
ACE President Ted Mitchell writes to urge members of the Senate Finance Committee to repeal the taxability of Pell Grants in the FY 2022 budget reconciliation process.
Letter of Support for the FY 2022 Budget Reconciliation Bill
Letter of Support for the FY 2022 Budget Reconciliation Bill
Letter to the House Education and Labor Committee in support of the investments this legislation makes in students, educators, and institutions, and requesting lawmakers to include funding to double the maximum Pell Grant award.
Letter to Department of Education on Resuming Student Loan Repayments
Letter to Department of Education on Resuming Student Loan Repayments
As the nation works towards economic recovery, we believe it is critical that the Education Department develops and shares a clear plan to transition federal student loan borrowers back into repayment as soon as possible.
Education Department Negotiated Rulemaking: Letter on Financial Responsibility
Education Department Negotiated Rulemaking: Letter on Financial Responsibility
Letter from ACE, NAICU, NACUBO to the Education Department as it begins the process of negotiated rulemaking on Title IV programs addressing the need for change in the Financial Responsibility Standards.
Letter on Higher Education Appropriations for FY 2022
Letter on Higher Education Appropriations for FY 2022
Letter from ACE and 48 other higher education associations to House and Senate appropriators outlining the priorities for students, institutions, and researchers as Congress works on funding bills for FY 2022.
Request to Congress: Double the Pell Grant
Request to Congress: Double the Pell Grant
Letter to Congress from nearly 1,200 organizations, including nearly 900 colleges and universities, requesting lawmakers to double to amount of the maximum Pell Grant award.
Talking Points: Why Congress Should Double the Pell Grant
Talking Points: Why Congress Should Double the Pell Grant
This important investment will drive economic recovery, help address racial and economic inequities in college completion rates, and increase overall educational attainment.
Student Aid Alliance FY 2022 Higher Education Appropriations Priorities
Student Aid Alliance FY 2022 Higher Education Appropriations Priorities
Letter to the chairs of the House and Senate appropriations committees outlining the higher education funding priorities for FY 2022, including doubling the maximum Pell Grant.
Letter of Appreciation to Congressional Leaders for Passing the American Rescue Plan
Letter of Appreciation to Congressional Leaders for Passing the American Rescue Plan
Letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for including support for postsecondary students and institutions in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319).
American Rescue Plan Simulated HEERF Allocations: Proprietary Institutions
American Rescue Plan Simulated HEERF Allocations: Proprietary Institutions
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides almost $40 billion in relief funds directly to higher education institutions. This simulation shows how the Education Department might distribute these funds to proprietary schools.
American Rescue Plan Simulated HEERF Allocations: Nonprofit Institutions
American Rescue Plan Simulated HEERF Allocations: Nonprofit Institutions
​The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides almost $40 billion in relief funds directly to higher education institutions. This simulation shows how the Education Department might distribute these funds to public and private nonprofits.
Questions to ED on Emergency Relief Funding Distribution
Questions to ED on Emergency Relief Funding Distribution
Letter to incoming Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona outlining questions campuses have about the rules for spending the most recent round of COVID-19 relief funds approved by Congress in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriatio...
Letter to the House Committee on Education and Labor on Emergency Relief in Budget Reconciliation
Letter to the House Committee on Education and Labor on Emergency Relief in Budget Reconciliation
ACE and other higher education associations write to support emergency relief for higher education students and institutions as committee members create the FY21 budget resolution’s reconciliation instructions.
Letter to Education Secretary-designate About Higher Education Priorities
Letter to Education Secretary-designate About Higher Education Priorities
Letter to Education Secretary-designate Miguel Cardona about the higher education community's priorities for the Biden administration, including additional emergency COVID-19 relief.
 Letter to Congress About the Continuing Needs of Students and Institutions During the Pandemic
Letter to Congress About the Continuing Needs of Students and Institutions During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 relief bill Congress approved in December provided just under $23 billion for postsecondary students and institutions. While this will deliver some help, at least $97 billion in critical needs remains unaddressed.
CRRSAA Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Simulation
CRRSAA Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Simulation
Simulated distribution of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, the pandemic relief bill signed into law in December 2020.
Methodology for the CRRSAA Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Simulation
Methodology for the CRRSAA Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Simulation
How we modeled the simulated distribution of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.

​Latest News

End of Year Countdown: What’s on the Congressional Agenda for Students and Colleges
End of Year Countdown: What’s on the Congressional Agenda for Students and Colleges
In this live conversation, hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer discuss the status of the Build Back Better Act and more as Congress pushes toward the end of the year with a lengthy to-do list. ​
House Moves Forward on Build Back Better Act, Passes Infrastructure Bill
House Moves Forward on Build Back Better Act, Passes Infrastructure Bill
The House voted to approve a key procedural measure to prepare for what congressional Democrats hope will be the eventual passage of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act,which includes a number of programs and funding for higher ed institutions.
Higher Ed Waits for Congress to Act; ACE Takes Pulse of College Presidents
Higher Ed Waits for Congress to Act; ACE Takes Pulse of College Presidents
With the House heading toward a vote on the Biden administration’s domestic spending plan, the hosts talk about what is in the bill for higher education and speak with Morgan Taylor about ACE’s latest Pulse Point survey of college presidents.
Reconciliation Framework Increases Maximum Pell Grant, Cuts Free Community College
Reconciliation Framework Increases Maximum Pell Grant, Cuts Free Community College
The long-awaited framework for the Democrats’ reconciliation bill has been released, a roughly $1.75 trillion package of spending priorities to support the Biden administration’s domestic agenda.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Reconciliation Legislation Agreement
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Reconciliation Legislation Agreement
We are appreciative of the higher education support that is included in this legislation and will work closely with the administration and Congress to build on this beginning.
Capitol Hill Fall Showdown: Will Higher Ed Get Left Behind?
Capitol Hill Fall Showdown: Will Higher Ed Get Left Behind?
he hosts look at what we know so far about the higher ed provisions in the budget reconciliation bill, the future of Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and the president's order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for federal contractors.
Department of Education Overhauls Troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Department of Education Overhauls Troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
The Biden administration announced plans to reform the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and start fulfilling its promise to help student loan borrowers who have committed to at least a decade in a public service career.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Announcement
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Announcement
Today's announcement by Secretary of Education Cardona fulfills a promise the nation made to forgive the student loans of tens of thousands of individuals who have dedicated years to public service.
What’s Going on With Budget Reconciliation, and Why Should Higher Ed Care?
What’s Going on With Budget Reconciliation, and Why Should Higher Ed Care?
ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle and dotedu host Sarah Spreitzer unpack where Congress stands on reconciliation and what it means for students and institutions.
House Committee Approves Substantial Increases for Higher Education Programs, Student Aid in Reconciliation Bill
House Committee Approves Substantial Increases for Higher Education Programs, Student Aid in Reconciliation Bill
The House Education and Labor Committee has advanced its portion of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, proposing to invest roughly $111 billion in higher education programs and federal student aid.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on House Committee on Education and Labor Reconciliation Legislation
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on House Committee on Education and Labor Reconciliation Legislation
The legislation is a major step toward providing greater access to an affordable, high-quality college education for millions of low- and middle-income students.
Senate Budget Blueprint Includes Support for Free Community College, Other Higher Ed Priorities
Senate Budget Blueprint Includes Support for Free Community College, Other Higher Ed Priorities
In quick succession last week, the Senate passed its long-awaited $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package and a budget resolution that includes free community college, support for HBCUs, and a path to citizenship for Dreamers.
 dotEDU Brief: Broadband Access, Free Community College, Support for Dreamers All on the Table
dotEDU Brief: Broadband Access, Free Community College, Support for Dreamers All on the Table
The hosts discuss the Senate’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package which includes support for expanding broadband access, before diving into the FY 2022 budget resolution and its provisions for free community college and more for higher ed.
House Approves Appropriations Package With Increased Funding for Higher Ed
House Approves Appropriations Package With Increased Funding for Higher Ed
The House of Representatives has approved a slate of spending bills that will fund parts of the government for FY 2022, including the Department of Education.
ACE, Higher Education Groups Urge Education Department to Communicate Plans for Resuming Student Loan Repayments
ACE, Higher Education Groups Urge Education Department to Communicate Plans for Resuming Student Loan Repayments
ACE and six other higher education associations have written to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona urging the Department of Education (ED) to develop and publicly share a clear plan to transition federal student loan borrowers back into repayment.
FY 2022 Education Funding Bill Moves Forward in House
FY 2022 Education Funding Bill Moves Forward in House
The House Appropriations Committee last week approved a FY 2022 funding bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which includes substantial increases for student aid and scientific research.
ACE Helps Launch National Campaign to #DoublePell
ACE Helps Launch National Campaign to #DoublePell
ACE is proud to be part of a national campaign to double the maximum Pell Grant to $13,000 and help more students earn a degree, get a good-paying job and achieve a brighter future.
#DoublePell Bill Would Put College Within Reach for Millions of Students
#DoublePell Bill Would Put College Within Reach for Millions of Students
Lawmakers in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to double the Pell Grant, expand eligibility for the program to Dreamers, and make a number of other changes to the program.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the Pell Grant Preservation and Expansion Act
"This exceptionally important legislation would ensure that Pell Grants will truly put college within the reach of millions of talented students."
dotEDU Brief: Congress Returns to Full Agenda, Groups Launch National Campaign to Double Pell Grants
dotEDU Brief: Congress Returns to Full Agenda, Groups Launch National Campaign to Double Pell Grants
The hosts preview the rest of the summer session in Congress and their hopes for a smooth August break, and listeners will learn more about how they can take action through the #DoublePell campaign website.
Higher Education Community Asks Congress to Support Funding Levels Needed to Serve Students, Institutions
Higher Education Community Asks Congress to Support Funding Levels Needed to Serve Students, Institutions
ACE and nearly 50 other higher education organizations are advocating for Congress to expand federal investments in Fiscal Year 2022 to adequately support critical programs serving students, institutions, and researchers.