With reauthorization of the Higher Education Act due for action, members of Congress unveil new proposals for the future of higher education on a continuous basis. NASFAA's series, The Capitol Recap, provides a monthly update on new pieces of legislation introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to provide aid administrators with the most up-to-date information for their offices and their own administration. Bills listed here, unless otherwise noted, have been referred to committee and are awaiting action or consideration.
For a complete list of legislation introduced in this session of Congress, visit the NASFAA Legislative Tracker.
The ACCESS to Careers Act of 2021, introduced by Tim Kaine [D-VA], would create a competitive grant program for community colleges and states to focus on boosting work-based learning opportunities. In an effort to provide students with more opportunities to further their education and the support they need to be successful; this proposal would provide community colleges with grants of up to $1.5 million while community college systems would be eligible for up to $5 million. Individual states would also be eligible to receive grants to develop statewide policies that relate to work-based learning.
The Diversify Act, introduced by Rep. Garcia [D-IL], would aim to diversify the teacher workforce by eliminating financial barriers to the teacher preparation programs. This bill primarily increases the maximum TEACH Grant award from $4,000 to $8,000 per year. Additionally this bill would protect the TEACH grant award from being cut by the Budget Control Act; eliminate the loan conversion penalty; and allow the TEACH grant to cover the full cost of attendance, rather than solely tuition, fees, and on-campus housing.
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Improvement Act of 2021, introduced by Rep. Luria [D-VA], would increase the amount of loan forgiveness and loan cancellation available to teachers. This bill increases the amount of loan debt ED would forgive for teachers from $5,000 to $15,000 after the fifth complete school year of teaching. In addition, for teachers in mathematics, science, or special education, ED would increase the loan forgiveness from 17,500 to 30,000.
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Publication Date: 7/12/2021