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ERIC Number: EJ808822
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug-8
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
A Bill that Took Longer than a Bachelor's Degree
Field, Kelly
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n48 pA1 Aug 2008
It took five years, dozens of drafts, and a total of 14 extensions, but Congress last week was finally on the verge of passing a bill to renew the Higher Education Act, the major law governing federal student aid. The bill, after approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, was headed to the Senate, where a final vote was planned for late last week. The measure was expected to pass and then go to President Bush for his signature. Mr. Bush is expected to sign the long-overdue bill, which would be the most significant piece of higher-education legislation to clear Congress since September 2007, when lawmakers passed a measure that slashed subsidies to lenders in the government's student-loan programs and used the savings to significantly increase federal student aid. The 1,158-page bill would set federal higher-education policy for the next five years, creating dozens of grant programs for colleges and students while imposing hundreds of new reporting requirements on institutions. It would crack down on conflicts of interest in the student-loan programs, press institutions and states to rein in tuition, and make it easier for for-profit colleges to become, or to remain, eligible to award federal student aid. It includes provisions that seek to prevent students from taking out private loans unnecessarily, and it would expand eligibility for Academic Competitiveness and Smart Grants--which supplement Pell Grants for low-income, high-achieving students--to part-time students and those in certificate programs. The bill would also prohibit the secretary of education from dictating how colleges measure student learning for purposes of accreditation and overhaul the department's advisory committee on accreditation issues. However, it omits language in earlier versions that would have created a federal ombudsman's position to resolve accreditation disputes.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Higher Education Act 1965; Higher Education Act 1980