Key Republican In House Proposes Broad Student-Aid Reforms
"As the U.S. House of Representatives takes its first steps toward reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, the Budget Committee’s chairman, is offering his own vision of student-aid reform," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
"In an antipoverty plan released on Thursday, Representative Ryan calls for streamlining the student-aid system, capping federal loans to parents and graduate students, and 'disrupting the accreditation status quo.' He proposes a database for tracking recipients of federal aid and argues for further consolidation of federal job-training programs.
The agenda comes three months after Mr. Ryan released a budget blueprint that would freeze the maximum Pell Grant at its current level for 10 years and roll back recent expansions of the program. That plan also would add a maximum-income cap for students to receive a Pell Grant, though it doesn’t propose a particular level.
Some of the proposals in Thursday’s plan mirror ideas in the Republican road map for reauthorization, including replacing the current patchwork of federal student-aid programs with one grant, one loan, and one work-study program. Both plans would make Pell Grants available year-round, creating 'flex' funds that students could draw from until they graduated or exhausted their eligibility for aid. And both would remake federal college-access programs, with Mr. Ryan’s plan suggesting a single program."
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