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.
Sponsor: Sen. Alexander (R-TN)
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: The Safely Back to School and Back to Work Act would dedicate $29 billion directed to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). 85%, would be distributed to institutions based 90% on the enrollment of full-time Pell Grant recipients who were not exclusively enrolled in distance education at the onset of the pandemic, and 10% on full-time non-Pell Grant recipients who were not exclusively enrolled in distance education. 10% of the HEERF funds would be distributed to Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to address needs directly related to COVID-19, and the final 5% would be directed to institutions that the secretary of education determines to have “the greatest unmet needs related to coronavirus. The HEALS Act would allow institutions to use the funds to defray costs they incurred due to the coronavirus, such as lost revenue, technology costs to transition to distance education, and payroll, and to provide emergency financial aid grants to students, including those exclusively enrolled in distance education.
Sponsor: Sen. Murray [D-WA]
Cosponsors: 21 (20D; 0R; 1I)
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: The bill establishes the Higher Education Relief Fund (HERF), which will provide over $132 billion in funding for students and institutions of higher education. Included in the bill is a provision to reverse the Secretary of Education’s recent decision to exclude Dreamers from receiving COVID-19 relief aid that was authorized under the CARES Act. This legislation invests over $1 billion in adult education and workforce development. This funding will support programs that serve adult English learners through adult and family literacy activities.
Sponsor: Sen. Kaine [D-VA]
Cosponsors: 0 (0D; 0R)
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bill amends the provisions relating to the higher education emergency relief fund to allow institution to use the funds towards a more broad range of items, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff training, and payroll.
Publication Date: 8/24/2020