Higher Education Act

Achieving a college degree has long been the most reliable ticket to the middle class. That's why President Johnson signed the Higher Education Act in a Texas college gymnasium.

The Higher Education Act is the primary law that regulates and helps finance postsecondary education in the United States. It authorizes federal aid programs, including Pell Grants, student loans, and work-study programs to support colleges and universities. The bill includes a number of provisions intended to improve transparency in higher education costs, especially for consumers. It requires publishers to disclose price information for textbooks and supplemental materials on the course schedules used for registration. It also directs the Commissioner to conduct a national study on expenditures at institutions of higher education.

The legislation has been praised by NEA and other labor groups for its focus on affordability, access, and diversity. Congress is currently considering its reauthorization. With college debt surpassing $1.2 trillion, reauthorization must address the issue of affordability by expanding community college and increasing the purchasing power of Pell Grants.

Higher Education Act and Student Loan Forgiveness
Higher Education Act 1

Higher Education Act and Student Loan Forgiveness

In a recent speech, Biden vowed to keep pushing for student debt relief. He said the administration will pursue a new route for loan forgiveness after the Supreme Court struck down its initial plan tied to the COVID-19 emergency. The new path would use the Higher Education Act to allow the Department of Education to release and forgive debts.

Unlike the HEROES Act, the HEA doesn’t rely on a national emergency to give the Secretary of Education broad discretion over student loans. But critics say this approach will still take longer than the original. Invoking the HEA also requires a lengthy regulatory process known as negotiated rulemaking. And that means it’s likely to face more legal challenges. This could delay the rollout. And it’s not clear how many borrowers will qualify.

Higher Education Act of 2023

The last few years have been a turbulent time for higher education. From the COVID-19 pandemic to debates over free speech, colleges, and universities have been impacted in many ways. However, 2023 promises to be a big year for higher education.

The Higher Education Act (HEA) is the primary law through which Congress regulates and helps finance higher education in the United States. It establishes federal aid programs, including grants and loans, to help students pay for college and university. It also allows the Secretary of Education to compromise, waive, or release student loans during times of national emergency. The HEA is one of the most important pieces of legislation for students and institutions. The HEA is set to be reauthorized by Congress this year.

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