The Higher Education Act

Congress is currently in the process of reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA). Congressional reauthorization of the Higher Education Act gives us an opportunity to revisit student aid issues and focus our efforts on ensuring access for the students with the greatest need. APSCU has created a Reauthorization Task Force charged with rethinking ways to maintain access for students while simplifying the process and ensuring success. APSCU is working closely with Congress to ensure that college affordability, student rights, federal student aid, access, transparency and equal institutional accountability are part of the next iteration of HEA.


News & Updates

Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act 

On Friday, February 13, 2015, Chairman Kline (R-MN), Chairwoman Foxx (R-NC), and Congressman Hastings (D-FL) introduced the Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act (HR 970). On February 25, 2015, Senator Burr (R-NC) introduced S 559, a companion bill to HR 970. The bills are very similar to HR 2637 introduced in the previous Congress. 

APSCU has sent letters of support to the House and Senate sponsors of the bill. ACE has also sent letters in support of the bill to the House and Senate.

HR 970 & S 559 do the following: 
  • Provides regulatory relief to the higher education community by repealing regulations related to: 
    • Gainful Employment
    • State Authorization
    • Definition of Credit Hour
  • Prohibits the Department of Education from promulgating or enforcing any regulation or rule on the following topics until programs under the Higher Education Act are extended for no less than two years: 
    • Gainful Employment
    • State Authorization
    • Teacher Preparation
  • Prohibits the Department from promulgating or enforcing any rule with regards to the Definition of Credit Hour regulation
  • Prohibits the Department from developing, refining, promulgating, publishing, implementing, administering, or enforcing any postsecondary institution ratings system or any similar performance system designed to rate institutions of higher education
  • Allows institutions of higher education to work with third-party servicers and provide payment to those servicers so long as:
    • The third-party servicer is not affiliated with the institution providing payment
    • Servicers provided are in addition to the recruitment of students
    • Personally identifiable information is not sold to or shared with any other person or entity


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PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.