NASFAA Submits Comment on Higher Education Affordability Act

 Reauthorization - Masthead  

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’s comments outline areas of support and concern with the goal of informing the final legislation that Congress will continue to work toward next year.

The comments commend the HEAA’s focus on increasing affordability, addressing loan debt, strengthening accountability, and improving transparency. They also offer appreciation for the inclusion of a number of proposals that the financial aid community has championed through NASFAA’s HEA reauthorization recommendations. The following specific provisions are addressed in the comments:

Proposals Supported by NASFAA:

  • Reinstatement of Year-Round Pell Grants
  • Limited Restoration of Ability to Benefit Eligibility Criterion
  • Mandated Use of Prior-Prior Year (PPY) Income Data
  • Early Notification of Potential Pell Grant Eligibility
  • Consolidation of Repayment Plans
  • Title XI Reports and Studies
  • Private Student Loan Bankruptcy Protections
  • Elimination of Origination Fees
  • Automatic Enrollment in IBR for 150 Days Delinquent Borrowers
  • Provision of Funds for DREAM Eligible Students
  • Expansion of the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Required Consumer Testing of Consumer Information Products  

Areas of Concern:

  • Proposed Language for Year-Round Pell
  • Pell Usage Notifications
  • Standardized Award Letters
  • Complaint Resolution and Tracking System
  • Annual Counseling for Borrowers
  • Repayment Rate and Speed-Based Repayment Rate
  • Student Default Risk
  • Counseling for Parent PLUS Borrowers
  • Mandatory Program Reviews

For a full analysis of the HEAA and NASFAA’s reauthorization materials visit nasfaa.org/reauth.

Publication Date: 9/2/2014


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