Now's the Time to Take Action: Provide Your Feedback to Lawmakers on PROSPER Act

By Stephen Payne, Policy & Federal Relations Staff

In December, the House education committee introduced and passed the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity Through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, a comprehensive bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). With potential action on the HEA pending in both chambers for the first time in almost a decade, NASFAA encourages members to highlight positive and negative provisions in the PROSPER Act for lawmakers in the House who may or may not sit on the education committee, as the bill could reach the floor in the near future. We encourage NASFAA members to reach out to Senators as well, as the process in that chamber may kick-off soon.

The PROSPER Act cleared the House education committee on a party-line vote, with only Republican members of the committee voting in favor of advancing the bill. With the bill now out of committee, we could see action on the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives as soon as next month. In the Senate, Sen. Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate education committee, expressed his interest in moving on HEA reauthorization this spring.

How Can You Take Action on HEA Reauthorization?

To assist in advocacy surrounding HEA reauthorization, NASFAA has assembled several resources, including a new one-pager outlining positive and negative provisions in the bill, which highlights feedback from NASFAA’s letter to the committee sent in December. In addition, NASFAA has developed a number of advocacy resources and policy task force reports to assist NASFAA members and policymakers throughout the HEA reauthorization process.

NASFAA strongly encourages financial aid administrators to contact their elected officials to share these materials as well as their unique on-the-ground perspective about how provisions in the PROSPER Act may affect students and schools.

You can find contact information for your member of Congress here: Find Your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives and Contact Information for U.S. Senators. You should plan to reach out to both your U.S. Representative and your state's two U.S. Senators.

Please update NASFAA on your lawmaker correspondence so we can better work with your congressional delegation and reinforce your perspectives.

 

Publication Date: 1/23/2018


Grace T | 2/16/2018 8:37:05 AM

Should we contact the House Representative for the location of our institution or for our home address?

Christina T | 1/23/2018 3:22:14 PM

Done. Contacted my senators and my congressman.

David S | 1/23/2018 1:48:08 PM

We are the experts, folks. If your school doesn't want you speaking up on legislation as an employee or using your work email account, then do it as a citizen and a constituent and a voter who just happens to be a financial aid professional, using your personal email account. Or call, or even visit a local office (you don't have to go to DC).

We owe it to our students to speak up about what is good and what is bad in this bill. You can just focus on one part of it if you like, it doesn't have to be an in-depth analysis of the whole thing. Don't be afraid of saying something that you assume others have said; repetition serves to emphasize the importance of the issue. Your representatives in Washington are, to put it mildly, caught up in lots of stuff. We cannot let them forget about financial aid.

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