Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said
at a hearing that he hopes to have a Senate
version of the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization ready by early
spring. While many in Washington were focused on health care and tax reform,
two committees were working on a higher education bill that would make
substantial changes to student loans, borrower consumer protections, loan
repayment or forgiveness programs, career-focused programs and much more. In
the last six weeks, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee
(HELP) has held four hearings to address concerns they have as they look to
reauthorize the HEA.
Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, D.Ed.
(R-NC) took the lead by getting an HEA reauthorization bill approved by the House
Education and the Workforce Committee on a 23-17 party-line vote in December. In
the PROSPER Act (H.R. 4508), more than 60
programs would be eliminate including the current interest subsidy on all
federal education loans, the public service student loan forgiveness program (PSLF), work-study for graduate students,
the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program (FSEOG), and Graduate/Professional Direct
Plus loans (GradPlus) in its current form.
ADEA is staying in close touch with
developments with the higher education reauthorization and weighing in with
Members of Congress, both directly and in cooperation with various coalitions,
on the issues of importance to academic dentistry, especially those directly
affecting dental students.