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Higher Education Act: Legislative Watch
BACKGROUND: The Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 was created to govern federal higher education programs and has been rewritten eight times. Today it remains unchanged since 2016. Since 2016 there have been numerous regulatory and operational changes.
The Republican led House Committee’s PROSPER Act was never brought to the floor for a vote. Meanwhile the dormant Democrat’s Aim Higher Act2 will now likely be the centerpiece of Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) chair, House Education and the Workforce Committee.
What will happen next, and when, is uncertain.
A likely scenario is continued debate on key policy and accountability issues and probably some hearings. Should the Democratic version prevail the next step will be Senate approval. Under the leadership of Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Chair, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, it is unlikely there will be sufficient compromise for passage before the next election cycle.
What does this mean for campus financial aid administrators (FAAs)?
The ED Secretary will continue to issue regulatory directives that require school compliance, explanation to affected users and implementers and modification of campus practices and procedures.
What can/should FAAs do?
- Keep communicating- with each other… with campus policy makers… with students/parents.
- Keep complying.
- Keep innovating processes and procedures.
It is also advisable to fully understand the near and longer term impacts on your institution and users of both bills. There is now an opportunity for more professional involvement in the legislative process – your input can and will make a difference.
1 PROSPER Act link; https://edworkforce.house.gov/prosper/
2 Aim Higher Act link; http://democrats-edworkforce.house.gov/aim-higher
In the wake of the 2018 midterm elections and as Congress embarks on the next chapter of an already divisive era in American politics, how will key issues for the higher education community come into play?
As promised during our October 31 webinar, we’re using this post to break down the election results, look ahead to the 116th Congress, and provide some forecasts about how a new crop of lawmakers and congressional leaders may affect higher ed initiatives.
We hope our postgame commentary will break through the confusion and help you plan for 2019!
|Don’t Get Spooked! What the Midterms Mean for Higher Education REGISTER FOR WEBINAR
October 31, 2018
12:30 PM Eastern
11:30 AM Central
10:30 AM Mountain
9:30 AM Pacific
General CLE credit available
Missouri: 1.2 hours
Illinois and California:
||Are you scared of the midterms? On Halloween, Thompson Coburn will host a panel conversation about the election and its impact on higher education. Among other topics, our panelists will discuss:
- Potential scenarios on the control of the House and Senate
- Key races to watch on election night
- The substantive effect of the election outcome on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act
- Implications for FY2020 education spending
- What role, if any, the election will have on regulation and oversight at the US Department of Education
Kevin Cain is the Director of Governmental Affairs with the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges where he works to educate Congress and the administration on the challenges and opportunities facing academic veterinary medicine. Prior to working at AAVMC, Kevin worked as Vanderbilt University’s Director of Governmental Affairs for Health and Biomedical Sciences. Kevin served as a key aide to two members of Congress and, over the course of his 19-year career, he has worked as a policy leader and advocate, advising lawmakers and staff on legislative and regulatory changes that could impact critical business decisions.
Kimberly Jones serves as the Vice President for Public Policy and Communications at the Council for Opportunity in Education. Jones maintains various professional memberships, including the Committee for Education Funding, of which she served as President in 2014; the National Bar Association, for which she chaired the Legislation Standing Committee in 2014-2015; Women in Government Relations; and the Washington Government Relations Group. Jones is a graduate of Yale University and the Georgetown University Law Center. In 2016, she was named one of the “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” by the National Bar Association and received the organization’s Excellence in Activism Award. In 2018, Jones was selected for the Diversity Executive Leadership Program sponsored by ASAE, the American Society of Association Executives.
Chris Murray is a partner in Thompson Coburn’s Lobbying & Policy group. One of Washington’s leading political advocates and strategic advisors for the education sector, Chris has a particular interest in supporting organizations that are disrupting the status quo. At its core, Chris’s work is about getting to a meaningful and lasting result that supports the mission of his clients, which is simply to provide the best and most affordable education for all. Chris has been recognized for the depth of his knowledge of education policy, which spans all corners of education, from pre-K through primary, secondary, and postsecondary, from institutions and trade associations to technology companies and investors.
Ken Salomon is a partner in Thompson Coburn’s Lobbying & Policy group. Ken has spent his entire legal career in the public and private sectors in Washington, DC and has a thorough understanding and appreciation of how lobbying can advance client needs and interests. He has helped clients in a variety of sectors—including e-commerce, higher education, technology, telecommunications, health care, and intellectual property—develop and implement winning lobbying strategies by crafting and implementing innovative approaches to affect the formation of public policy in the U.S. Congress and the administration.
For more information regarding Thompson Coburn’s Higher Education Webinar Series, please contact Aaron Lacey. A partner in the firm’s Higher Education Practice and the Series’ host, Aaron can be reached at 314-552-6405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TCLE Seminars are offered as a complimentary service by Thompson Coburn LLP.
Find full details on these sessions and content from prior sessions here: www.thompsoncoburn.com/tcle
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There is no shortage of media coverage and substantial data on the high levels of student indebtedness. But, ‘no matter how you cut it, more education pays.’ For those seeking a more “positive spin” on this issue may find The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce’s paper THE COLLEGE PAYOFF a useful resource to document the positive influence of post-secondary education, in spite of what appears to be high indebtedness levels
The report can be accessed at;
Yesterday, a NPRM was published proposing, beginning fall 2019, the establishment of a maximum period of authorized stay for international students and other holders of certain non-immigrant visas.
Currently, student visas are generally valid for a period known as ‘duration of status’, which means that international students in the U.S. can stay indefinitely as long as they maintain their status as students. Students can fall out of status by failing to maintain a full-time course of study or working without authorization, but as long as they follow the regulations associated with their student visa, they can stay in the U.S., transfer to other institutions and progress from one academic level to another. Effectively, the ‘duration’ of their time in the U.S. is predicated by the duration of their academic programs.
The new proposed rule planned would establish a fixed maximum term for certain non-immigrant visa holders, including holders of F-1 student visas. The NPRM does not specify what the maximum period of stay for student visa holders and provides options for extensions. As with most NPRMs there is a opportunity to provide commentary.
Full NPRM can be accessed at: