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Thursday, January 18, 2018

House version of the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill released

On December 10, republicans in the House of Representatives Committee on Education and Workforce introduced a 542-page bill that would significantly reshape how students apply for and receive federal financial aid. 

The bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) reflects many of the committee’s priorities over the last few years, including a move to a “one grant, one loan, one work-study” model (which eliminates the current subsidized Direct loan), increased student counseling requirements, a transition away from institutional cohort default rates to repayment rates for academic program aid eligibility, and caps on the amount that can be borrowed at the graduate level as well as the elimination of time-based loan forgiveness provisions (i.e., income-based repayment forgiveness and public service loan forgiveness). 

It also proposes eliminating the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and replacing it with a Pell Grant “bonus” that students could earn if they complete over 30 credits a year. Democrats in the House are overall not supportive of the reauthorized HEA as it is written, and the Senate has not released their version of the revised HEA yet.

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