ACE, Other Higher Education Groups: HEA Bill Being Rushed Through Committee Without Clear Understanding of Consequences December 11, 2017 Section 1 ContentHouse Education and the Workforce Committee set to mark up bill tomorrow at 10 a.m. ACE and 36 other higher education associations sent a letter (272 KB PDF) today to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce as it begins the process of reauthorizing the primary federal law governing higher education, last updated in 2008.The committee is scheduled to mark up the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act (H.R. 4508), introduced by Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), tomorrow, Dec. 12. Given the limited time to provide feedback—the bill was just introduced on Dec. 1—the associations are requesting that the committee delay marking up the bill to allow more time for analysis and input.They write that on quick review, there are some welcome provisions in the bill. However, overall the proposals would make higher education more expensive for millions of students and families and significantly change federal higher education policy without a clear understanding of the likely consequences.“Coinciding with the House’s passage of H.R. 1, this marks the second time in less than a month that the House of Representatives has moved to significantly increase the cost of higher education for low- and middle-income Americans,” the groups write, referring to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which currently is in final negotiations to reconcile House and Senate versions of the tax bill. Among the PROSPER Act provisions the associations support, the legislation would provide a bonus to Pell Grant recipients to incentivize completion, simplify the process of applying for federal aid, eliminate origination fees on student loans, provide statutory authority to accreditors to use risk-based or differentiated accreditation procedures, and provide institutions the authority to limit borrowing. However, other portions of the bill have the potential to upend the system of federal financial aid by cutting programs, restructuring policies, and imposing new regulations that are harmful to students and families. Among the programs slated for elimination or reduction: The in-school interest subsidy for undergraduate students The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program Loan forgiveness and other benefits currently available in the student loan programs Title III-A Strengthening Institutions ProgramThe Teacher Quality Partnership Grants program reduced by $50 millionGraduate students would be hit hard, losing Federal Work-Study eligibility and having their federal graduate loans limited, forcing them to borrow at higher cost and with fewer protections in the private market. (See “Reversal on Student Lending” in this morning’s Inside Higher Ed.)The bill does strive to reduce unnecessary or duplicative regulations on students and institutions by incorporating some of the recommendations from the report of the bipartisan Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education. However, these proposals are offset by other changes that would add burden and complexity, such as requiring weekly or monthly disbursements of student aid. Compounding these problems, the associations write, this bill would weaken the federal government’s ability to prevent fraud and abuse in the federal aid system, and even expand the availability of aid to the institutions where the greatest abuses have occurred. Minority-serving institutions (MSIs) are singled out for the toughest scrutiny, with the legislation tying Title III and Title V funds for MSIs to their ability to graduate or transfer 25 percent of their students. For more information on the bill, see this summary (323 KB PDF) prepared by ACE. The House Education and the Workforce Committee will be webcasting the mark up beginning tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET. Section 2 Content Section 3 Content Section 4 Content Section 5 Content Section 6 Content Button ContentRelated ContentLetter to the House Education and the Workforce Committee in Advance of the HEA Bill Markup (272 KB PDF)Dec. 11, 2017Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act (H.R. 4508)ACE Summary of House PROSPER Act (323 KB PDF)A Description of the Likely Effects of the Significant Changes to the Federal Student Loan Program Proposed by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce (680 KB PDF)Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on the House Republican Higher Education Act Reauthorization Bill Rail Content 1 Rail Content 2 Rail Content 3 Related News September 28, 2020 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are resuming negotiations on a new COVID-19 economic relief package. ACE and 45 other higher education associations are asking for at least $120 billion in the new measure. 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Read More Online Event September 17, 2020 Blockchain and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Podcast September 17, 2020 Listen to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and immigration rights activist, Jose Antonio Vargas talk about the prospects of DACA, immigration policy in general, and what colleges and universities can do to help. Read More Podcast September 17, 2020 Episode 28: Dreamers and Immigration Policy: Past, Present, Future News July 29, 2020 Senate Republicans introduced their version of the fifth COVID-19 supplemental spending bill late Monday, proposing about $29 billion in emergency aid for students and colleges and universities among the provisions. Read More News July 29, 2020 Senate Republicans Introduce COVID-19 Spending Bill With $29 Billion for Higher Education Audio July 28, 2020 What has Congress accomplished before its summer recess, and what more can we expect leading up to election season? ACE’s Terry Hartle and Jon Fansmith update you on this and other public policy developments. Presented on ACE Engage—Create Your Account. Read More Audio July 28, 2020 Public Policy Pop-Up: July Edition Audio June 16, 2020 ACE’s Terry Hartle and Jon Fansmith provide insights on the latest coronavirus stimulus developments and what to expect as we head into summer and fall. This edition is supported by Finn Partners. Presented on ACE Engage—Create your account. Read More Audio June 16, 2020 Public Policy Pop-up: June Edition News June 12, 2020 The Department of Education has released an interim final rule explicitly stating that only students who are eligible for Title IV federal financial aid can receive emergency grants provided in the CARES Act, the COVID-19 stimulus bill sign Read More News June 12, 2020 Education Department’s Interim Final Rule on CARES Act Excludes Nearly 8 Million Students News May 18, 2020 House lawmakers approved a new emergency supplemental spending measure to address the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More News May 18, 2020 House Approves 5th Emergency COVID-19 Spending Bill With $100 Billion for Education News May 11, 2020 Reps. Dan Lipinski and Susan Brooks are circulating a letter urging House leaders to request an additional $47 billion in supplemental funding to stabilize universities and colleges and support students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More News May 11, 2020 Urge Your House Members to Support Higher Education in Next COVID-19 Bill Podcast April 7, 2020 Recording from various remote workplaces around the DC area, the dotEDU team comes together to discuss the implications of the coronavirus pandemic on higher education. Read More Podcast April 7, 2020 dotEDU Episode 18: Higher Education in the Time of COVID-19 News March 30, 2020 ACE President Ted Mitchell called the higher education provisions in the plan, which total approximately $14 billion, “woefully inadequate.” Read More News March 30, 2020 Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Allocates $14 Billion to Higher Education News March 24, 2020 Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said last night that they were nearing a deal on a $2 trillion economic aid package to help Americans, U.S. businesses, and specific groups survive the coronavirus pandemic. 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Read More News March 16, 2020 House, Senate Introduce Financial Aid Legislation for Coronavirus Outbreak News March 13, 2020 The Department of Education should make changes to the latest version of its proposed expansion of foreign gift and contract reporting requirements, ACE said in comments submitted March 11. Read More News March 13, 2020 ACE, Higher Education Groups Comment on New Foreign Gift and Reporting Information Request News March 13, 2020 Permanently disabled veterans would automatically have their student loan debts canceled under a bill passed by the House on March 10. Read More News March 13, 2020 House Passes Bill to Automatically Forgive Student Loans for Disabled Veterans News February 11, 2020 In its place, ED the department resubmitted a proposal for an expanded information collection request with just one change: It removes the request for unredacted “true copies” of contracts and gift agreements from covered institutions. Read More News February 11, 2020 Education Department Withdraws Emergency HEA Section 117 Information Collection Request News January 17, 2020 Legislation to create a commission to draft voluntary guidelines for accessible college instructional materials, which ACE has long supported, has been reintroduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Read More News January 17, 2020 Bill to Improve Accessibility of College Materials Reintroduced in Senate News January 13, 2020 The December webinar, “Whither Higher Education Act Reauthorization?” is now archived exclusively on ACE Engage®, ACE’s online community and learning platform. Read More News January 13, 2020 Missed Our Recent Webinar on HEA Reauthorization? No Problem, See It On ACE Engage.