Analysis of Higher Education Act Reauthorization

On July 31, Congress completed reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) by passing the Higher Education Opportunity Act—five years late and after an unprecedented 14 extensions of the statutory deadline. The president signed the bill into law on August 14, 2008. Except for rules regarding relationships between higher education institutions and student lenders, the act does not address federal student loan programs, which were reauthorized and modified by the 2007 College Cost Reduction and Access Act. Although the act includes burdensome new reporting, disclosure, and other requirements, it reflects noteworthy progress in that Congress was persuaded to reject yet more onerous and problematic proposals. The bill is hundreds of pages long, a summary from the American Council on Education highlights selected key new provisions. Download it here.