Higher Education Act


Purpose: HEA governs nearly all federal financial aid programs for the nation’s postsecondary students. The vast majority of HEA funding flows through Title IV of the legislation, which oversees the administration of the various student loan and grant programs such as the federal Pell grant.

Status: The Higher Education Act was last comprehensively updated in 2008. Since that time, subsequent legislation has amended portions of HEA, extending authorization periods for several programs over the past few years. 

Connection to Career Technical Education (CTE): In addition to CTE at the middle or high school level, students can participate in CTE at postsecondary institutions, including community colleges and technical colleges. HEA is intended to expand access to postsecondary education and provides opportunities to align postsecondary with workforce development. However, as currently structured HEA does not provide comparable access for learners wishing to pursue shorter-term career-oriented education and training at these institutions. 

Advance CTE Recommendations:  Advance CTE advocates for HEA reauthorization based on these recommendations, which reflect the input and priorities of our members and our vision, Without Limits: A Shared Vision for the Future of Career Technical Education. In particular, Advance CTE seeks to broaden financial aid eligibility for shorter-term programs, as proposed in the JOBS Act. 

Resources on Current Law

Resources on the Reauthorization Process