HEA Proposal Fails Low-Income Students on Affordability, Equity, and Connecting to Work

The makeup of today’s students requires federal postsecondary education policies to be influenced by a wide variety of student experiences and needs. Any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) must be focused on principles like offering affordable and equitable postsecondary opportunities, and being deliberate about linking school to work and careers. Because low-income students have faced rising costs and other challenges since the last reauthorization of the HEA in 2008, it is well past time for Congress to improve the law to increase students’ odds of success.

Unfortunately, the comprehensive HEA reauthorization bill introduced last week by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) fails students. This brief, written by Lauren Walizer, discusses how Rep. Foxx’s bill, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, would move backward on the fronts of affordability, equity, and connections to work and careers.