Legislative Tracker: Quality & Accountability

Legislative Tracker LogoOn this page, you'll find proposals that seek to improve institutional quality and/or look to hold institutions or individuals responsible for their actions or performance. In addition, this page includes legislation regarding accreditation and matters related to the Department of Education, including structure and regulatory activity.


*NEW* H.R.5103 — Quality Higher Education Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Wilson [D-FL]
Cosponsors: 14 (14D; 0R)
Introduced: 08/24/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would initiate a negotiated rulemaking session to establish rules and regulations that an accreditation agency or association must follow when an institution of higher education in their jurisdiction fails to meet their accreditation standards. The rulemaking session would also establish standards that shall be used by all accreditation agencies or associations, such as standards for student completion rates and workforce participation. It would also require accreditors to be more transparent about how they evaluate schools.

*NEW* S.2593 — GIFTs in Higher Education Act

Sponsor: Sen. Rubio [R-FL]
Cosponsors: 1 (0D; 1R)
Introduced: 08/03/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would hold institutions accountable for gifts or donations received from foreign adversaries, under Section 117 of the HEA. The bill would expand Section 117 disclosure requirements​​ to include faculty, professional staff and all staff engaged in research and development in addition to institutions of higher education and would require gifts and contracts from certain sources to be disclosed within 30 days if valued at $50,000 or more in a calendar year.  

H.R.4596 — Student Records Protection Act

Sponsor: Rep. Cartwright [D-PA]
Cosponsors: 5 (3D; 2R)
Introduced: 07/21/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would require colleges and universities to establish record-management plans in order to be eligible for accreditation. These record management plans would be designed to provide for the custody and continued access of student records, including student transcripts, billing, and financial aid records. 

S.2054  — Partnerships for Affordability and Student Success Act

Sponsor: Sen. Jack Reed [D-RI]
Cosponsors: 1 (1R)
Introduced: 06/15/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) to reestablish a federal-state partnership aimed at increasing need-based student aid, providing institutional grants to improve student outcomes and reduce college costs, and build public accountability for higher education institutions. In order to receive the federal investment, states would need to maintain their investment in higher education and have a comprehensive plan for postsecondary education with measurable goals for access, affordability, and student outcomes. 

S.2237 — Community College Student Success Act of 2021 

Sponsor: Sen. Schatz [D-HI]
Cosponsors: 1 (1D)
Introduced: 06/24/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would authorize $10 billion in grant funding for the planning and execution of comprehensive wraparound support services for full-time community college students including free tutoring, textbooks, and transportation. An additional $5 billion would be authorized to offer these same services to part-time students as well. These resources would be designed to increase the graduation rates and transfer rates to 4-year institutions. 

S.2301 — College Equity Act of 2021

Sponsor: Sen. Schatz [D-HI]
Cosponsors: 4 (4D)
Introduced: 06/24/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would offer colleges and universities funding to address disparities in higher education recruitment, admissions, and support. If enacted, this bill would provide funding for institutions to examine how institutional practices contribute to achievement gaps, create grants for institutions to develop and execute plans to address these findings, and encourage sharing of these findings with higher education accreditation agencies.

S.1719 — Fast Track To and Through College Act

Sponsor: Sen. Hassan [D-NH]
Introduced: 05/19/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would increase rates of college completion and reduce college costs by accelerating time to degree, aligning secondary and postsecondary education, and improving postsecondary credit transfer. More specifically, this bill would establish a competitive grant program for states to create a comprehensive early college strategy that aligns secondary and postsecondary course work, improves postsecondary credit transfer, and allows federal Pell Grants to cover dual-enrollment costs for low-income students enrolled in a fast track program.

H.R.2700 — For-Profit College Conversion Accountability Act

Sponsor: Rep. McBath [D-GA]
Cosponsors: 2
Introduced: 04/20/2021 
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill outlines the process and strengthens accountability measures for converting a proprietary (for-profit) institution of higher education to a nonprofit institution of higher education.

H.R.2106 — To terminate the Department of Education.

Sponsor: Rep. Rouzer [R-NC]
Cosponsors: 1
Introduced: 03/19/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would terminate the Department of Education. 

H.R.2048/S.848 — Consider Teachers Act of 2021

Sponsor: Del. Norton Holmes [D-DC]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 03/18/2021
Sponsor: Sen. Braun [R-IN]
Cosponsors: 3
Introduced: 03/18/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would create a process for TEACH grant recipients to initiate a “reconsideration of conversation decision”, in the case that their TEACH grant was turned into a federal loan because the Department of Education determined that the recipient failed to comply with the TEACH service obligation. If the conversion to a loan was completed unjustly, the bill requires that ED reinstate the recipients grant, discharge any fees or interest that may have accumulated, refund any loan payments made, or apply those payments to other outstanding direct loans if applicable, and request that consumer reporting agencies remove any negative credit reporting. The bill would also extend the service obligation time period to 8 years for recipients who had their grants changed to loans unfairly. 

H.R.1912 — Keep College Students Learning Act

Sponsor: Rep. Davis [R-IL]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 03/16/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would allow students who are set to attend college in the upcoming semester and who are received a scholarship or financial aid from that college, to have the ability to hold off on attending for up to an academic year if that college is not offering in-person instruction at the same levels as the Fall 2019 semester, and keep their aid for when the student does return to campus for in-person classes. 

H.R.1222/S.383 — POST Act of 2021

Sponsor: Rep. Cohen [D-TN] 
Cosponsors: 3
Introduced: 02/23/2021
Sponsor: Sen. Durbin [D-IL]
Cosponsors: 9
Introduced: 02/23/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would prohibit for-profit colleges and universities from receiving more than 85 percent of their revenue from the federal government and change the calculation of federal revenue to include all federal funds, including Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill and Department of Defense Tuition Assistance benefits.

H.R.899 — To terminate the Department of Education.

Sponsor: Rep. Massie [R-KY]
Cosponsors: 8
Introduced: 02/05/2021
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill would terminate the Department of Education. 


Legislative Tracker Overview   |   Archive: Quality & Accountability

Publication Date: 9/10/2021

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