News: Federal Policy & Advocacy

U.S. House Democrats Introduce Plan to Reauthorize Higher Education Act

Tuesday, July 24, 2018  
Posted by: Jack Porter, Advocacy Associate
Share |

Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) released the outline of the Aim Higher Act, the House Democrats' proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). Democrats state that the bill “is designed to give every student the opportunity to earn a debt-free degree or credential that leads to a rewarding career.”

This release comes seven months after House Republicans released their HEA reauthorization bill, the PROSPER Act. The PROSPER Act was approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee on a party-line vote shortly after its introduction, but has yet to be considered by the full House.  

Concerning NCAN’s federal policy priorities, the Aim Higher Act would make significant, annual investments in the Pell Grant, achieve a more equitable work-study formula, and simplify the FAFSA to ensure that students who receive a means-tested benefit are eligible for the maximum Pell award, a provision informed by NCAN's Streamlined FAFSA proposal. NCAN will provide additional analysis of the proposed legislation as soon as the full text of the bill is released.

With August recess and midterm elections rapidly approaching, it is unlikely that a vote on either bill will be held in 2018, but NCAN will remain engaged in the HEA debate as it gradually takes shape on Capitol Hill.

NCAN will share legislative developments with our membership as they transpire and welcomes your feedback as this process moves forward. Members interested in learning more about the Higher Education Act, which authorizes numerous federal aid programs that provide support to both students and institutions, should review the Congressional Research Service’s primer from last year.