On October 15, the House Committee on Education and Labor introduced the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), the House Democrats’ long-awaited legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA).
Some of the major initiatives of the bill include:
- Creating a federal-state funding partnership to incentivize states to make community college tuition-free;
- Increasing the value and funding of Pell Grants;
- Simplifying the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- Repealing the ban on Pell Grants for incarcerated students;
- Codifying restrictions on federal funds used for for-profit institutions that had been put in place by the Obama Administration;
- Repealing the student unit record data ban and creating a new postsecondary student data system;
- Expanding Pell Grant eligibility to certain short-term credential programs; and
- Creating additional funds for postsecondary Perkins CTE programs, including tribally controlled postsecondary CTE institutions.
Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) intends this to be a comprehensive reauthorization, in contrast to the recent “mini” HEA reauthorization proposal, The Student Aid Improvement Act, introduced by Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
Advance CTE staff will continue to monitor changing developments with this proposal and related legislation. Advance CTE’s full recommendations for HEA reauthorization can be found here.
Meredith Hills, Policy Associate and Sam Dunietz, Senior Associate for Federal Policy