House Education and Workforce Committee Introduces Reauthorization of Higher Education Act; Democrats Introduce Competing Title VI Proposal

On December 1, House Education and Workforce Committee Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) introduced the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). The HEA authorizes federal aid programs that support institutions of higher education and postsecondary students. The bill proposes large changes to graduate student loan programs, rolling back regulations on for-profit colleges, and changing the process for applying for federal student aid. Additionally, the bill proposes the elimination of several Title VI-International Education programs and reauthorizes the remaining programs below current levels.

Congress last authorized the Higher Education Act in 2008 and the Senate committee of jurisdiction—the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions—will likely introduce its own bill in the coming year. A summary of the bill,  prepared by the American Council on Education, can be found here. The Coalition for International Education, of which COSSA is a member, sent a letter to leadership of the House Education and Workforce Committee sharing its concerns with the PROSPER Act.

Relatedly, Representatives David Price (D-NC) and Susan Davis (D-CA) introduced a bill on November 30 that would reauthorize only Title VI of the Higher Education Act. Their bill, known as the Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act, would expand, streamline, and increase funding for existing foreign language and area studies programs and is a stark contrast to the provisions included in the PROSPER Act.

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