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WHAT HAPPENED WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT’S AHEAD. Part I: History and Political Context. A Look at the Changing Political Environment for the 2008 Higher Education Act Reauthorization. HEA History. 1965-1972: Congress establishes student aid programs & HEA framework

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Part I: History and Political Context

A Look at the Changing Political Environment for the 2008 Higher Education Act Reauthorization

HEA History

  • 1965-1972: Congress establishes student aid programs & HEA framework

    • Solving the access problem for low-income students in partnership with colleges and states through a series of federal grant, loan and work-study programs.

    • Keep federal government out of institutional oversight and choice

  • 1992: Congress sets up HEA framework for quality assurance (including accreditation standards) to stop “fly by night” schools.

1995-2008 Changes in Education Politics and Policy Focus

  • Education becomes important election issue

  • New generation of leaders in Congress

  • Business models highly valued by politicians

  • “What are we getting for our money?”

  • P-16 movement blurs lines between early childhood, K-12 and higher education

  • Both Rs and Ds replace contrasting philosophies of government with contrasting policy ideas

2002 No Child Left Behind

  • Reauthorization of ESEA of 1965 – K-12 parallel law to HEA

  • Focus on equalization of financial resources for the poor replaced by focus on student assessment

  • Federal government abandons partnership with educators in favor of federal direction

  • Same congressional players in charge of HEA reauthorization slated for the next year (2003)

Explosion of College Prices

Household Income vs. Tuition, Fee, Room, and Board Charges (2006 Constant Dollars)

College Pricing – A Town Hall Issue

  • They understand “net price”

  • They understand the “value of the investment” and importance to global competitiveness

  • As federal budget shrinks, Congress has fought hard to increase student aid funding

    • FY 2008 Pell Grant Program will cost $16 B (more than allocations for 2 of 12 congressional subcommittees) for $4,731 maximum grant

    • Last year’s average tuition increase was $1,398

  • Both Congress and American people feel they “can’t keep up”

Colleges Losing their “White Hat”

  • Cost

  • Scandals (presidential perks and student loans)

  • Leads to questions by parents and Congress: “What are we getting for our money?”

Two Axioms of Legislative Bodies

  • When there is no money, they regulate instead

  • Poets write poems; painters paint, legislators write laws

Key Issue for NAICU During HEA: Don’t Cross the Bright Line of Federal Control

  • College Pricing

  • Accreditation

  • Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student Loan Sunshine

  • Protecting Campus-based

  • Aid & LEAP

  • Preserving Pell (against front-loading, other ideas)

  • Student Loan Cuts (opportunities and risks)

  • Increased Loan Limits

  • Student Repayment Options

  • Transfer of Credit

  • Teacher Education Mandates

  • Articulation Agreements

  • Last Dollar

  • Reporting Requirements (file sharing, textbooks, emergency response, U-CAN, missing persons, fire safety, distance ed, drug & alcohol, etc.)

  • Integrity

It Could Have Been Worse: What Didn’t Happen

  • Institutional Autonomy

  • Accreditation

  • College Cost

  • Transfer of Credit

  • Articulation Agreements

  • Teacher Preparation

  • SURD

  • Student Loan Sunshine

  • Student Aid

  • Last Dollar

  • Reporting/Disclosure

Positive Gains in Federal Aid

  • Increases in Pell Grants with new guaranteed five -year revenue stream (increase of $490 in 2008-09 alone)

  • Preservation of all student aid programs, including state grants and campus-based aid

  • Creation of new grant programs (ACG, SMART, TEACH)

  • Increase in undergraduate student loan limits and creation of GRAD PLUS

  • New repayment options for students with high debt to income; increased loan forgiveness; lower interest rates and elimination of 0 fees

  • Need analysis improvements

Key Issues Presidents Should Know

Disclosures/Reporting Requirements

Campus Crime Reporting

Campus Emergency Procedures

Consumer Information on College Navigator

Disaggregation of Graduation Data 

Disciplinary Proceeding Disclosures

Disclosures to Students & Prospective Students

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention 

Drug Violation Penalty Notice 

Fire Safety 

Lobbying Certification 

Missing Person Procedures 

Peer-to-Peer File Sharing 

Post-Graduate Information 

Teacher Preparation Report Cards

Transfer of Credit

Voter Registration


AccreditationCostCollege Costs


Student Aid and Admissions

Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)

Student Aid Improvements

Student Aid Simplification 

Student Loan Sunshine Provisions

Veterans Readmission