Washington Watch: House May Soon Release Bill to Rework HEA

"Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), appear poised to introduce a Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill in the coming weeks," according to Community College Daily.

"In all likelihood, there will be things in the bill that the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) strongly supports, other things we won’t be too happy with and still others that the association would have wanted included. Community college leaders had great success in encouraging Congress to reinstate the year-round Pell Grant earlier this year, so we hope lawmakers will continue to listen to their recommendations to help community colleges better serve their students.


First and foremost for AACC’s public policy agenda is the Pell Grant program, which has strong bipartisan support. There is no talk of program cutbacks or limitations in reauthorization. It is possible, however, that an effort may be made to define 'full-time' enrollment as 15 semester credits, as opposed to 12 at present.

A big reauthorization issue is how to ensure the program’s stability and future growth. AACC strongly supports indexing the maximum grant to inflation, as was done in the 2010 Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. However, funding this policy will be a challenge; previously, funding came through savings from the transition to full direct lending.

AACC also supports extending the lifetime limit on Pell grants to 14 semesters (full-time equivalent), rather than the current 12, which is a problem for some community college students, particularly those who subsequently transfer. This change faces tough sledding, in part, because of the current emphasis on getting students to graduation quickly, in part because of its cost."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 11/20/2017

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