Higher Education Act Reauthorization

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HEA ChartWith the Higher Education Act (HEA) up for reauthorization, members of Congress have been busy introducing legislation to change and streamline federal financial aid processes. In this Higher Education Act Reauthorization Center, find in-depth analyses from NASFAA staff on key proposals set forth by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Scroll down to read the latest coverage of HEA reauthorization legislation.

See below for links to the text of each reauthorization bill that has been released to date:

House Reauthorization Bills:

New! In order to help you navigate the various proposals, NASFAA has developed a comparison chart that illustrates the similarities and differences between the draft legislation. 

NASFAA and its members have also been hard at work analyzing the HEA and potential new policies. Please read the Preliminary Report of the NASFAA Reauthorization Task Force, which was approved in June 2013 by the Board of Directors. If you have suggestions for additional areas where legislative change is needed, please send your ideas to reauth@nasfaa.org.

In addition to the articles below, also see the following background resources for more information:

Senate HELP Committee Introduces Final Higher Education Affordability Act Reauthorization Bill
Nov. 21, 2014 - Yesterday Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), introduced a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization bill. The Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA) was originally released in the form of a discussion draft in late Jun...
The Policy Brief: The 114th Congress and Reauthorization
Nov. 19, 2014 - In the second video for NASFAA's occasional video series, Assistant Director of Federal Relations Jesse O’Connell discusses the recent Congressional elections and how the Republican takeover of Congress might impact the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.    
NASFAA Submits Comment on Higher Education Affordability Act
Sept. 2, 2014 - At the request of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, NASFAA submitted comments on the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEAA). The discussion draft, released in June 2014, serves as a marker for future reauthorization efforts. NASFAA...
The Policy Brief - Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
Aug. 15, 2014 - In the debut of NASFAA’s occasional video series, The Policy Brief, NASFAA’s Megan McClean and Jesse O’Connell discuss reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.    
HEAA: Senate Democrats Propose Changes to Counseling and Loan Servicing
July 30, 2014 - This article is the sixth in a series that examines various provisions proposed in the Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA), introduced by Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on June 25.
HEAA: Senate Democrats Propose Elimination of Origination Fee and Other Changes to Loan Programs
July 23, 2014 - This article is the fifth in a series that will examine various provisions proposed by the Higher Education Affordability Act.  
HEAA: Senate Democrats Propose Changes to Institutional Eligibility and Responsibilities
July 16, 2014 - Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), introduced a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization bill on June 25. The Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA), which includes several provisions for which NASFAA has been advocating, tak...
HEAA: Senate Democrats Propose Changes To Need Analysis, Award Letters, And Other Informational Processes
July 11, 2014 - This article is the third in a series that will examine various provisions proposed by the Higher Education Affordability Act. The Harkin discussion draft bill proposes several changes to the Federal Methodology used to calculate a student’s expected family contribution. It would also make changes to th...
House Education Committee Moves Three HEA Reauthorization Bills Forward
July 11, 2014 - On Thursday, Members of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce advanced three bills related to reauthorization of the Higher Education Act: The Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act, The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act, and The Empowering Stud...
House And Senate Release Several Proposals As HEA Reauthorization Nears
July 9, 2014 - There has been a frenzy of activity on Capitol Hill in recent weeks as Congress gears up for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). This article provides summaries of the most recent proposals that have been put forward including the Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency Act, the ...
HEAA: Democrats Propose Two Significant Changes for the Federal Pell Grant Program
July 3, 2014 - This article is the second in a series that will examine various provisions proposed by the Higher Education Affordability Act. The Harkin bill would reinstate year-round Pell Grants for students enrolled in extra payment periods within an award year in order to accelerate their degree program completion...
HEAA: Democrats Propose Various Changes to General Provisions
July 2, 2014 - Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), introduced a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization bill on June 25. The Higher Education Affordability Act (HEAA), which includes several provisions for which NASFAA has been advocating, take...
House Begins Reauthorization Process, Introduces Three New Bills
June 27, 2014 - Yesterday various members of the House Education and the Workforce committee introduced the “Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act,” the “Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act,” and the “Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act”. The bills address the use of p...
HEAA: Senate HELP Committee Introduces Reauthorization Discussion Draft
June 26, 2014 - Yesterday Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), introduced a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization bill that includes several provisions for which NASFAA has been advocating, including using prior-prior year (PPY) income...
NASFAA Provides Additional Details On Bipartisan FAST Act
June 24, 2014 - Last week Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the bipartisan Financial Aid Simplification and Transparency (FAST) Act. The bill, designed to simplify the federal financial aid system, introduces provisions to streamline the application process while improving transparenc...
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes To Need Analysis, Part 2
July 8, 2013 - This ninth and final article in the series explores NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force's (RTF) recommendations regarding need analysis. Topics reviewed include the IRS/FAFSA data exchange; the treatment of unmarried partners or same-sex couples; and the definition of dependents regarding household size.
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes To Need Analysis
June 24, 2013 - This eighth article is the first of two on Need Analysis and includes a recommendation from NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) for the use of prior-prior year income data as the basis for calculating expected family contribution, among other recommendations.
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes to Title IV General Provisions
June 5, 2013 - This seventh article in the series explores NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force's (RTF) recommendations regarding cash management; overaward tolerance; reinstatement of student eligibility; drug-related ineligibility; and I-9 employment eligibility verification.
NASFAA Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes to Return of Title IV Funds
June 3, 2013 - In this sixth article in the series, NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force's (RTF) recommendations regarding the return of Title IV funds (R2T4) process are reviewed. When RTF held listening sessions to identify membership concerns, the R2T4 process was the third most commented-on topic.
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Review of Consumer Information
May 30, 2013 - The fifth article in this series highlights the recommendations NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) regarding student consumer information. Topics reviewed include the effectiveness of current requirements; loan consumer information; targeted recipients; Constitution Day, voters registration, athle...
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes to Campus-Based Programs
May 28, 2013 - The fourth article in this series highlights the recommendations NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) put forth for campus-based programs including Federal Work-Study, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and Federal Perkins Loans.
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes to Pell Grant Program
May 24, 2013 - The third article in this series highlights recommendations of NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) with regard to the Federal Pell Grant Program. Recommendations include: making it a true entitlement program, rescinding institutional ineligibility for Pell Grants due to loan default rates, allowing...
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes To Direct Loan Program, Part 2
May 21, 2013 - This is the second in this series of articles, and the second of two on the Direct Loan Program. Highlighted recommendations from NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) include: elimination of loan fees, loan subsidies, interest rates, and consolidation.
NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force Recommends Changes To Direct Loan Program
May 15, 2013 - The first article in this series highlights recommendations from NASFAA’s Reauthorization Task Force (RTF) regarding creation of a separate loan program for graduate borrowers, loan disbursement, late origination, repayment incentives, proration of annual loan limits, a school's authority to reduce loan ...
HEA Reauthorization – Working Draft Overview
In order to help navigate the various Higher Education Act Reauthorization proposals, NASFAA has developed  a comparison chart that illustrates the similarities and differences between the draft legislation.