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This Week in Higher Education


July 25, 2014

This Week in Higher Education

It was a busy week for higher education policy on Capitol Hill.

The House of Representatives passed three bills this week which would reauthorize portions of the Higher Education Act. As we previously reported, these bills would impact institutional transparency, student financial counseling and competency-based education programs. Of note is that the bills were passed on large bipartisan votes.

The House also passed the Student and Family Tax Simplification Act (H.R. 3393) a higher education tax benefit program. Originally introduced in October 2013, the legislation would make permanent and consolidate four existing tax benefits into a single “American Opportunity Tax Credit.”

Additionally, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on July 24th on the states’ role in higher education. While the hearing did address the state topic, with witnesses testifying to the importance of incentivizing state support for higher education institutions, witnesses and committee members also took the opportunity to discuss other federal policy needs. The majority of time was spent discussing various reforms to the student financial aid system including reinstating summer Pell grants, student loan refinancing and simplifying the aid application.

Testifying before the HELP committee were:

The full hearing and witness testimony are available on the HELP committee’s website.

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