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 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.
Summary of the Higher Education Provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021
Summary of the Higher Education Provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021
High-level summary of the higher education provisions in the latest COVID-19 emergency relief bill, including the a breakdown of the $22.7 billion in emergency assistance for higher education institutions and students.
Letter to Congress on Borrower Relief Extensions
Letter to Congress on Borrower Relief Extensions
Letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to extend the current suspension of payment and zero percent interest for all federal student loan borrowers, as well as the suspension of collections on defaulted loans, as the pandemic continues.
Request to Extend Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers
Request to Extend Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers
Letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking for an extension of the current suspension of payment and zero percent interest for federal student loan borrowers and the suspension of collections on defaulted loans during the pandemic.
Request to Extend Student Loan Relief During the Pandemic
Request to Extend Student Loan Relief During the Pandemic
Letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from NASFAA, TICAS, and ACE urging the administration to extend and expand repayment relief to federal student loan borrowers.
Higher Education Priorities in the Next COVID-19 Supplemental Spending Bill
Higher Education Priorities in the Next COVID-19 Supplemental Spending Bill
Congress should provide a minimum of $120 billion for colleges and universities in the next supplemental spending bill to cover the costs of reopening, lost revenue, and emergency financial aid for students.

​Latest News

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."
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.
Episode 44: Where Is Congress on Student Voter Access and Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Episode 44: Where Is Congress on Student Voter Access and Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Hosts Jon Fansmith and Mushtaq Gunja talk with Rep. John Sarbanes about the For the People Act, a comprehensive election reform bill that could have an impact on how colleges register voters, and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
White House Releases Budget With Increased Funding for NIH, NSF
White House Releases Budget With Increased Funding for NIH, NSF
The Biden administration has released its full budget​ for fiscal year 2022, requesting large increases for scientific research but limited increases for student aid and other higher education programs.
Episode 43: COVID-19 Relief Dollars at Work: East Carolina University and the Greenville Community
Episode 43: COVID-19 Relief Dollars at Work: East Carolina University and the Greenville Community
Philip Rogers, chancellor of East Carolina University, talks about how ECU has used federal pandemic relief to help students and the university at large, along with the surrounding community of Greenville.
Education Department Releases $36 Billion in COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds
Education Department Releases $36 Billion in COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funds
The Department of Education has announced more than $36 billion in emergency grants for nonprofit higher education institutions and students under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.
Free Community College Is Centerpiece of Biden Administration’s Latest Infrastructure Plan
Free Community College Is Centerpiece of Biden Administration’s Latest Infrastructure Plan
President Biden has announced his long-awaited request for free community college as part of the American Families Plan, a proposal that represents a massive and potentially transformative investment in higher education.
Reaching Students Behind Bars: A Look at College Programs for Incarcerated Individuals
Reaching Students Behind Bars: A Look at College Programs for Incarcerated Individuals
It is estimated that of the 1.5 million people in prison, roughly 71,000 are enrolled in post-secondary education programs. Three ACE member institutions are making a difference providing incarcerated individuals with access to higher ed.
Episode 41: Is College a Risky Investment? An Economist Weighs In
Episode 41: Is College a Risky Investment? An Economist Weighs In
The hosts are joined by Beth Akers, an economist and resident scholar at AEI, to discuss the debate over the cost of college and what policymakers, students, and parents should consider when it comes to investing in postsecondary education.
Colleges and Universities, Higher Ed Groups Call on Congress to Double the Maximum Pell Grant
Colleges and Universities, Higher Ed Groups Call on Congress to Double the Maximum Pell Grant
ACE has joined a broad coalition of nearly 1,200 organizations, including almost 900 colleges and universities, in urging Congress to double the maximum Pell Grant.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell: ACE Joins In Call to Congress to Double the Pell Grant
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell: ACE Joins In Call to Congress to Double the Pell Grant
Doubling the maximum Pell Grant is something Congress can agree to on a bipartisan basis as a fast and effective way to bolster opportunity for millions of students.
Episode 38: What's Next for Federal Student Aid?
Episode 38: What's Next for Federal Student Aid?
Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, visits the podcast to talk about the financial aid policies and programs that might be proposed by Congress in the coming months.