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 Congress in Support of the Tax-Free Pell Grant Act
Letter to Congress in Support of the Tax-Free Pell Grant Act
ACE, on behalf of 15 other higher education organizations, sent this letter to the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee urging them to include the Tax-Free Pell Grant Act in any lame-duck tax legislation.
Comments to the Education Department on Title IV NPRM
Comments to the Education Department on Title IV NPRM
Comments from ACE and 16 other associations to the Department of Education in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Title IV of the Higher Education Act.
Letter to Education Department Urging Extension of PSLF Waiver
Letter to Education Department Urging Extension of PSLF Waiver
As the Oct. 31 deadline for the extension of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) waiver nears, ACE and six other higher education groups urge Secretary Miguel Cardona to extend the waiver in order to better align with proposed regulatory changes.
Comments to the Education Department on Student Loan Forgiveness NPRM
Comments to the Education Department on Student Loan Forgiveness NPRM
ACE and 23 other associations sent these comments to the Department of Education in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding targeted student loan forgiveness.
Facts in Hand: Who Is Borrowing for College?
Facts in Hand: Who Is Borrowing for College?
Data show that undergraduate student borrowing patterns are similar across sectors, an indicator that higher education is trying to minimize undergraduate debt. Graduate student borrowing data, however, offer a note of caution.
Letter to Appropriations Subcommittees on Education Funding Priorities for FY 2023
Letter to Appropriations Subcommittees on Education Funding Priorities for FY 2023
Letter from the Student Aid Alliance to House and Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittees requesting that student aid remains a high priority in the funding bill for FY 2023.
Paying for College
Paying for College
Understanding how students pay for college is useful for addressing barriers to financing higher education. Learn more about average tuition prices and federal aid for undergraduate students.
Letter to Congress on Doubling the Pell Grant
Letter to Congress on Doubling the Pell Grant
Along with 188 partner organizations, ACE sent this letter to congressional leaders yesterday asking them to consider doubling the maximum Pell Grant as they work toward a spending agreement for FY 2022.
2021 Fall Term Pulse Point Survey of College and University Presidents, Part III
2021 Fall Term Pulse Point Survey of College and University Presidents, Part III
In this survey, 91 presidents identified their most pressing current concerns and shared their views on changing student demographics, as well as the value of Pell Grants in providing low- and moderate-income students access to higher education.
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.

​Latest News

COVID State of Emergency Ends in May; Federal Pandemic Aid was Key to Supporting Students
COVID State of Emergency Ends in May; Federal Pandemic Aid was Key to Supporting Students
The Biden administration announced last week that it will end the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies on May 11.
The Year in Higher Education Policy
The Year in Higher Education Policy
Hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer are joined by ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle to discuss the federal policy developments in 2022 that impacted students and higher education institutions.
States Step in as Federal Action on Dreamers Goes Nowhere
States Step in as Federal Action on Dreamers Goes Nowhere
Political activist Tyler Montague and ACE’s Derrick Anderson visit the podcast to talk about Arizona’s newly passed Proposition 308, which gives in-state tuition for non-citizen residents of the state.
ACE, Higher Ed Groups Launch Task Force to Improve Student Aid Offers and Price Transparency
ACE, Higher Ed Groups Launch Task Force to Improve Student Aid Offers and Price Transparency
ACE this week joined the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and seven other higher education associations in launching a task force.
Midterm Election Aftermath
Midterm Election Aftermath
Terry Hartle and Jon Fansmith talk about what the midterm elections mean for higher education policy in the lame-duck session and beyond.
​Education Department Issues Final Rules on Student Debt Relief, Other Programs
​Education Department Issues Final Rules on Student Debt Relief, Other Programs
The Department of Education released final regulations on targeted student debt relief programs on Oct. 31, hitting the Nov. 1 deadline to meet an implementation date of July 1, 2023.
Nasser Paydar Talks Mental Health, Student Debt Relief, and Other Priorities for the Education Dept.
Nasser Paydar Talks Mental Health, Student Debt Relief, and Other Priorities for the Education Dept.
Nasser Paydar, assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the Department of Education, joins the hosts to talk about what the department is doing to improve access and affordability for college students.
Higher Ed Policy Predictions for the Fall
Higher Ed Policy Predictions for the Fall
Jon Fansmith and Terry Hartle are back to give their predictions for what Congress will dive into this fall before they adjourn ahead of midterm elections, including a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year.
Breaking Down Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness Plan
Breaking Down Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness Plan
Justin Draeger, president and CEO of the NASFAA, helps break down what the Biden administration's student loan forgiveness plan means for borrowers, institutions, parents, and the higher ed community as a whole.
Measuring Student Loan Default Today
Measuring Student Loan Default Today
The student loan repayment pause has made data measuring the share of borrowers who default on their debts nearly meaningless. Federal policymakers and institutions need new ways to measure how well borrowers are prepared for success in the labor market.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on President Biden’s Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Announcement
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on President Biden’s Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Announcement
President Biden’s decision to cancel student loan debt for millions of borrowers is the right move at the right time, but to avoid forcing current and future students into the same debt morass, we must modernize the federal student loan program.
Back to School Prep: Monkeypox, COVID, Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Your Campus
Back to School Prep: Monkeypox, COVID, Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Your Campus
With the fall semester about to begin, the Biden administration is getting the word out to campuses on two key topics: Preparing for the latest phase of COVID-19 and the new challenge of monkeypox, and taking advantage of changes to PSLF ahead of Oct. 31.
ACE, Associations Offer Recommendations for Final Student Loan Forgiveness Regulations
ACE, Associations Offer Recommendations for Final Student Loan Forgiveness Regulations
ACE and 23 other higher ed groups submitted comments to the Education Department on draft rules to enhance protections for defrauded borrowers, improve Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and make other revisions to student loan discharge regulations.
How the PSLF Waiver Can Help Your Campus
How the PSLF Waiver Can Help Your Campus
ACE and the Department of Education partnered to host a webinar on July 12 that will help campus leaders learn more about the temporary changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
House Labor-HHS-Education Spending Bill Increases Pell Grant by $500, Allows Dreamers to Access Federal Student Aid
House Labor-HHS-Education Spending Bill Increases Pell Grant by $500, Allows Dreamers to Access Federal Student Aid
​The House Appropriations Committee voted 32-24 June 30 to approve the FY 2023 spending bill for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.
WEBINAR: How the PSLF Waiver Can Help Your Campus
WEBINAR: How the PSLF Waiver Can Help Your Campus
ACE is partnering with the Department of Education for a one-hour webinar on July 12 that will help attendees learn more about the temporary changes to the PSLF program and how those changes will help more people have their student loans forgiven.
Do Americans Value Higher Education?
Do Americans Value Higher Education?
With the midterm elections looming, what are voters thinking about the value of college? Kristen Soltis Anderson joins the podcast to talk about the American public's perception of higher education.
The Policy and Politics of Student Loan Forgiveness
The Policy and Politics of Student Loan Forgiveness
Almost everyone has an opinion about student loan forgiveness. But it's often more complicated than many think. Jon Fansmith and Terry Hartle look at what might happen in the coming months.
Who Is Borrowing for College?
Who Is Borrowing for College?
Undergraduate student borrowing patterns are similar across sectors, an indicator that higher education is trying to minimize undergraduate debt. Graduate student borrowing data, however, offer a note of caution.
Public Policy Pop-Up: The Policy and Politics of Student Loan Forgiveness
Public Policy Pop-Up: The Policy and Politics of Student Loan Forgiveness
Join ACE’s Terry W. Hartle and Jon Fansmith on May 16 to discuss the policy and politics of President Biden’s new student loan forgiveness initiatives as we move deeper into the campaign season. (Recording available.)
Student Aid Alliance Urges Congress to Continue Supporting Student Aid Programs, Double Pell Grants
Student Aid Alliance Urges Congress to Continue Supporting Student Aid Programs, Double Pell Grants
Members of the Student Aid Alliance sent a letter April 19 to House and Senate education appropriators, asking them to continue their commitment of “strong bipartisan support for federal student aid” as the FY 2023 appropriations process begins.