November 8, 2019

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 3 - Issue 40

Policy and Advocacy

This Week In Washington

Last week, the Department of Education (ED) published its final accreditation and state authorization distance education regulations. According to ED, the regulations are “designed to expand educational options for students, holistically lower the cost of education post-high school, and ensure occupationally-focused education meets current workforce needs.” However, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA-3), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, criticized the final rule stating that “by rolling back standards for accreditors, the department is undermining a key driver of institutional accountability, further exposing students and taxpayers to fraud and abuse at the hands of low-quality schools.” The final rule will take effect on July 1, 2020.

On Wednesday, a group of Senate Democrats held a press conference urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to bring the FUTURE Act up for a vote. Recall that the FUTURE Act is a bill recently passed by the House that would provide funding for historically black colleges and minority serving institutions which expired in September. On Monday, the group of Senate Democrats also sent a letter to Leader McConnell making the same request. This call to action is one of many over the past weeks attempting to bring the legislation that has been blocked by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) up for a vote.

News You Can Use

The Pew Charitable Trusts released a report which analyzed student loan repayment outcomes of approximately 40,000 Texan borrowers and identified systematic challenges to repayment.   

Recent Legislation

There were no relevant student-aid related bills recently introduced for consideration by the 116th Congress (2019-2020).