Legislative Tracker: Student Aid Funding

Legislative Tracker Logo On this page, you'll find proposals for cuts or increases to the levels at which various student financial aid programs are funded through the federal budget process, outlined on NASFAA’s overview of the Federal Budget Process. In addition, proposals to modify the budget process and new sources of federal funding for higher education or proposals for new federal student aid programs can be found on this page. 

For student aid funding proposals from the previous session of Congress, visit the Legislative Tracker Archive: Student Aid Funding

*NEW* Aim Higher Act
HR 6543 Sponsor:
Rep. Scott (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors:
57 (0 R; 57 D)
Introduced:
7/26/2018 
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The Aim Higher Act is a comprehensive Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill with notable changes to the federal student aid programs. 
 
FY 2019 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies
HR 6470 Sponsor:
Rep. Cole (R-OK)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/13/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill, was introduced by Rep. Cole (R-OK) and sets the funding levels for several large domestic government agencies and provides all funding for federal student aid programs for award year 2019-20. The bill would level-fund all federal student aid programs except TRIO and GEAR UP, which would receive a $50 million and $10 million increase, respectively.
 Status: 7/13/2018: Passed House Appropriations Committee
 
FY 2019 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies
S. 3158 Sponsor:
Sen. Blunt (R-MO)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
6/28/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill, was introduced by Sen. Blunt (R-MO) and sets the funding levels for several large domestic government agencies and provides all funding for federal student aid programs for award year 2019-20. The bill would increase the maximum Pell Grant award to $6,195 and would rescind $600 million from the Pell Grant reserve fund. The bill calls for level funding for the FSEOG and FWS programs and would reaffirm and expand the FAFSA data-sharing language in the FY 2018 spending bill.
 Status: 8/23/2018: Passed Senate (as part of HR 6157)
 
Strengthening American Communities Act
S. 2984 Sponsor:
Sen. Cardin (D-MD)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
5/24/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would provide free tuition at community colleges for a student’s first two years and a tuition reduction for low-income students in their first two years at minority-serving institutions. To be eligible, states would be required to put up 25% of the funds with other completion and outcomes requirements, while the federal government would contribute 75% of funds. The bill would also create the "National Public Service Education Grant Program" (NPSEG), a first dollar grant program that would cover the average cost of in-state tuition, fees, and room and board for two years. Students attending minority-serving institutions would receive actual cost for tuition, fees, and room and board for two years. If a gap exists between the federal grant and aforementioned costs, institutions would commit to cover the difference using grant and work-study awards. To qualify for NPSEG, students would agree to work for at least 3 years in a public service job after graduation. Failure to graduate or complete the service requirement would mean the previously awarded grant would be treated as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The bill would create an accelerated Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for NPSEG recipients.
 
Skilled Labor Education Act
HR 5944 Sponsor:
Rep. Maloney (D-NY)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
5/23/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would create multiple grant programs to support the training of career and technical education (CTE) teachers. Under the "Scholarships to Prepare Career and Technical Education Teachers" provision, institutions offering approved education programs would qualify to award scholarships of $5,000 per academic year (maximum of two years) to selected teacher candidates. After graduation, recipients would be obligated to serve as full-time CTE teachers at a secondary school for each year of scholarship support they received. Failure to comply would mean the previously awarded scholarship would be treated as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The bill would also cancel Federal Perkins Loans for eligible part-time public service.
 
Jobs for Justice Act
HR 5785 Sponsor:
Rep. Richmond (D-LA)
Co-Sponsors:
44 (0 R; 44 D)
Introduced:
5/11/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This comprehensive bill would make several changes to several federal student aid programs. The bill would create a federal partnership grant with states and Indian tribes to waive tuition and fees for two years at eligible community colleges, as well as grant programs to waive or significantly reduce tuition and fees for eligible students at 4-year HBCUs and MSIs. This act would create a grant program to support employers hiring recent college graduates, and to compensate recent college graduates in taking additional STEM courses. The bill would allow Early College Pell Grants to be awarded to students enrolled in postsecondary courses offered in high schools in an amount up to the cost of four full-time postsecondary semesters. This early award would count toward the maximum period for which a student may receive Federal Pell Grants. The bill would also make Federal Pell Grants mandatory funding, setting the maximum Pell Grant award at $6,420 for award year 2020 and restoring the annual inflation-adjustment on the maximum award moving forward. In addition, the legislation would reinstate Pell eligibility for incarcerated individuals. The bill would also make adjustments to the Parent PLUS program, including reducing interest rates, eliminating origination fees, adding upfront counseling requirements, and the inclusion of Parent PLUS in income-contingent and income-based repayment plans. The bill would also extend PSLF to environmental health workers.
 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018
HR 1625 Sponsor:
Rep. Royce (R-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
40 (22 R; 18 D)
Introduced:
3/20/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the omnibus spending bill for federal fiscal year 2018, includes several unexpected victories for student aid programs. The bill provides an overall increase of $3.9 billion for the Department of Education (ED). It increases the maximum Pell Grant award by $175, provides a $107 million boost for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program, and a $140 million increase for the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program. The bill also includes provisions addressing data-sharing restrictions and expanding Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
 Status: 3/23/2018: Signed into Law by President Trump
 
PROSPER Act
HR 4508 Sponsor:
Rep. Foxx (R-NC) 
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
12/1/2017 
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act is a comprehensive Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill with notable changes to the federal student aid programs. 
Status: 12/13/2017: Passed House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
 
America's College Promise Act
HR 3709 Sponsor:
Rep. Scott (D-VA) 
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
9/7/2017 
S. 2483 Sponsor:
Sen. Baldwin (D-WI)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (0 R; 13 D)
Introduced:
3/1/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The America’s College Promise Act would provide free tuition at community colleges for a student’s first two years and a tuition reduction for low-income students in their first two years at minority-serving institutions. Under the bill, to be eligible states would be required to put up 25% of the funds with other completion and outcomes requirements, while the federal government would contribute 75% of funds. 
 
FY 2018 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies
S. 1771 Sponsor:
Sen. Blunt (R-MO)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
9/7/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The fiscal year (FY) 2018 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill, the bill that sets the funding levels for several large domestic government agencies, provides all funding for federal student aid programs for award year 2018-19. The bill would rescind $2.6 billion from the Pell Grant Program reserve. The bill calls for level funding for FSEOG and also for the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. It also includes a $100 increase to the Pell Grant maximum award. 
 Status: 9/8/2017: Passed Senate Appropriations Committee
 
FY 2018 Appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies
HR 3354 Sponsor:
Rep. Cole (R-OK)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/24/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The fiscal year (FY) 2018 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill (originally HR 3358), the bill that sets the funding levels for several large domestic government agencies, provides all funding for federal student aid programs for award year 2018-19. The bill would rescind $3.3 billion from the Pell Grant Program reserve. The bill calls for level funding for FSEOG and also for the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. It also includes increases to programs such as TRIO and Gear Up – at $60 million and $10 million, respectively.
 Status: 9/14/2017: Passed House of Representatives 
 
FY 2018 Budget Resolution 
H.Con.Res. 71 Sponsor:
Rep. Black (R-TN)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/21/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget resolution provides a high-level overview of budget and funding priorities for FY 2018, which affects award year 2018-19.
 Status: 10/5/2017: Passed House of Representatives 
 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017
HR 244 Sponsor:
Rep. Cook (R-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
28 (19 R; 9 D)
Introduced:
5/3/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the omnibus spending bill for federal fiscal year 2017, includes the restoration of the "year-round Pell Grant" and a cut to the Pell Grant program surplus. In addition, the spending bill provides level funding for the Federal Work Study (FWS) and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs. 
 Status: 5/5/2017: Signed into Law by President Trump
 
College for All Act
S. 806 Sponsor:
Sen. Sanders (I-VT)
Co-Sponsors:
7 (0 R; 7 D)
Introduced:
4/3/2017
HR 1880 Sponsor:
Rep. Pramila (D-WA) 
Co-Sponsors:
35 (0 R; 35 D)
Introduced:
4/4/2017 
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This comprehensive piece of legislation would create a grant program to states to eliminate tuition at public 4-year colleges and universities and tribal colleges for students from any family making $125,000 or less. The bill would cut interest rates and impose an interest rate cap of 5% for undergraduate borrowers and 8.25% for graduate and parent borrowers, while also allowing borrowers to refinance loans at the current interest rates. Any excess revenue in the Direct Loan Program would be redirected into to the Pell Grant Program. The bill would also increase Federal Work Study (FWS) authorized funding levels and revise the FWS allocation formula by eliminating the "base guarantee" component in the current formula. In addition, TRIO and GEAR UP would see increases to authorized funding levels. 
 
Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act
HR 1065 Sponsor:
Rep. Messer (R-IN)
Co-Sponsors:
59 (40 R; 19 D)
Introduced:
2/15/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would modify the federal budget and appropriations process by implementing a biennial process, meaning consideration of budget resolutions and appropriations bills would occur every two years. 
 
Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act
S. 306 Sponsor:
Sen. Isakson (R-GA)
Co-Sponsors:
16 (8 R; 8 D)
Introduced:
2/6/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would modify the federal budget and appropriations process by implementing a biennial process, meaning consideration of budget resolutions and appropriations bills would occur every two years. 

 

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Publication Date: 9/6/2018


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