Policy Brief: Higher Education Act Reauthorization

Alison Griffin, Whiteboard Advisors

On December 1, House Committee on Education & the Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced H. R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965.

On December 12, the bill was marked up and reported to the House of Representatives by the full Committee on a party-line vote of 23-17. The bill is the House Committee’s first attempt to reauthorize the HEA since 2008. It is anticipated that the full House will consider the bill in the early part of 2018. Reports indicate that the Senate HELP Committee could consider a bill as early as March 2018.

The PROSPER Act includes provisions that have significant implications for the education industry, as well as issues of access and equity in higher education, including a proposed elimination of the 90/10 rule, granting for-profit institutions equal access to federal programs, and creating a one-grant, one-loan program.

Committee Republicans assert that new and amended provisions in the bill will support students in completing an affordable postsecondary education that will prepare them to enter the workforce with the skills they need for lifelong success.