Higher Education Act in focus for Capitol Hill Republicans
- Ranking Republican lawmakers serving on federal education committees have long sold deregulation as their priority for higher education, but that focus may soon broaden to revising the Higher Education Act, the governing policy for how the federal government appropriates spending and dictates accountability to institutions receiving federal funds.
- Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) in January laid out specific concerns about the costly impact of federal compliance standard for institutions, but said at the time that other higher education issues were under review by education committees in both the House and Senate.
- Pell grants, remedial education and public reporting of student and graduate success rates could be factors in the way college affordability is addressed in new legislation.
College leaders should be fully aware by now that the 115th Congress's first priority is to cut costs and federal influence over institutional administration and operations. Knowing this, leaders should be advocating for increased and thorough examination of the financial implications that cutting certain funding may yield for institutions.
Support for low-income students, community college access and terminated support for specific programs in the liberal arts could have a major impact on students and faculty, but leaders should be simultaneously working to show this impact to lawmakers while keeping campus stakeholders abreast of what could happen and how they plan to adjust.