NASFAA Statement on Build Back Better Agenda

Contact: Erin Powers
Director of Marketing & Communications 
(202) 785-6959 
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, DC, October 28, 2021 — President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats formally unveiled updated bill text for his administration's "Build Back Better" agenda, which in recent iterations has begun to narrow in scope as key members of Congress have pressured the White House to lower top-line spending from the previous $3.5 trillion budget plan. As a result, top priorities within the higher education sector have seen a significant scaling down, or in some cases have been eliminated from the drafted package entirely.

NASFAA President Justin Draeger issued the following statement after the framework's release: 

"We applaud Congress and the Biden administration for proposing these historic investments in higher education that will help millions of students pay for their educational expenses, complete their postsecondary programs, and contribute to our country's economic recovery. 

Granting federal student aid eligibility to students with DACA status is a significant step forward for students who were brought to this country by no choice of their own, have been educated in the same K-12 educational system as other Americans, and wish to continue their education at the postsecondary level. This makes good economic and moral sense.

While a $550 increase to the maximum Pell Grant is a welcome upfront investment toward making college more affordable for low-income students, we are concerned to see these funds parceled out by institutional sector, which will add new complexity to a financial aid system on the verge of much-needed simplification. The best place to address concerns about institutional quality at some proprietary institutions should be in the institutional eligibility and accountability provisions in the Higher Education Act, not by making programmatic changes that add complexities to students.

We welcome these proposed investments and will continue to work with the administration and Congress to make these proposals a reality." 

About  NASFAA 

The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) provides professional development for financial aid administrators; advocates for public policies that increase student access and success; serves as a forum on student financial aid issues; and is committed to diversity throughout all activities. NASFAA’s membership includes 22,000 student financial assistance professionals at approximately 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every 10 undergraduates in the U.S. 

Publication Date: 10/28/2021

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