Affordable Higher Education
What happened then?
The HEA was intended “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.” The HEA is the largest authorized federal source of funding for student aid. Further, it provides support to institutions of higher education (IHEs) to improve their ability to offer educational programs.
Since it was enacted in 1965, the Higher Education Act has been amended and reauthorized eight times. Congress is currently considering another reauthorization after the most recent 2008 reauthorization was extended through 2015.
Why it still matters today?
The rising cost of attending college often places a significant financial burden on students and families. National student loan debt has surpassed $1.3 trillion, with the average borrower accumulating nearly $30,000 in student loan debt.
What’s happening now?
The FY16 House Republican budget cuts education funding by nearly $103 billion over a decade, which represents a 22% cut to aid for teachers, colleges and universities, among others. Their budget also eliminates approximately $90 billion in Pell Grant funding over ten years.
Congress is currently considering a number of reforms to strengthen higher education, streamline the student aid process and empower students and families to make informed decisions as a part of the larger effort to reauthorize the HEA.
What needs to happen moving forward?
The American people expect and deserve a comprehensive reauthorization of the HEA that improves access and affordability, strengthens the federal student aid system, reinvests in the nation’s economy by ensuring an educated and skilled workforce and provides significant support to students and families.
For more information, please visit: http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/issue/higher-education