Higher Education Act

Policy and Politics for Reauthorization of the US Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act

The federal government funds and regulates higher education, including student assistance and support for colleges and universities, through the Higher Education Act.  The Higher Education Act (HEA) was enacted in 1965 to “strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and univerities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education”. Title IV of the HEA authorizes funding through grants and loans to students and higher education institutions.

US Department of Education Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Summary and Background Information

Charts and Graphs about Higher Education in the United States

Career and workforce reforms to HEA focus on:

Inclusion — Are all students including, rural, economic, and racial, included in higher education.

Alignment — Does the education lead to job skills? Are students offered classes and an education that teaches the soft and hard skills that are most demanded in the job market?

Attainment — Are students graduating with a higher education certificate or degree, and at what rate do access and completion obstacles prevent good outcomes? How can we improve education pathways so that more students attain higher education outcomes? Are additional pathways needed in addition to high school, and existing academic degrees such as a Bachelor’s?

Title IV funding comes with a extensive requirements on the student, institution, and education program that are implemented by the triad of the US Department of Education, state governments, and accreditors.