Overwhelming Support for Bipartisan Legislation to Permanently Fund HBCUs and Simplify the FAFSA

Posted on December 10, 2019

WASHINGTON, December 10, 2019 — Last week, the United States Senate passed bipartisan legislation from Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) that will make permanent $255 million in annual funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions, simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 20 million American families, and streamline income-driven repayment for nearly 8 million borrowers. 

Support for HBCU Funding:

United Negro College Fund: “We have yet another reason to be thankful this season. This permanent funding solution, which would stave off unnecessary cuts for our institutions, will allow HBCUs to continue fostering innovation and inspiring future leaders in the STEM disciplines—and that helps our nation.” 

Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities: “This bill helps to cut much of the red tape that needlessly stands in the way of students receiving the financial aid they need to access and afford a college education and to successfully repay their loans. We’re particularly appreciative of the certainty the bill would provide to HBCUs, HSIs, and other MSIs on critical funding they rely upon for a range of efforts, including strengthening STEM education, enhancing research capacity, investing in academic services and student success, and providing support to students at risk of dropping out. This bipartisan bill is a big win for students.” 

American Association of State Colleges and Universities: “The expiration of this funding authority at the end of the last fiscal year has been a source of great concern for the entire higher education community…I am therefore delighted to thank you for devising a pragmatic and bipartisan solution that not only extends, but also provides a permanent mandatory funding mechanism for this critical program authorized in Title III, Part F of the Higher Education Act. The campus programs supported by your legislation contribute greatly to the strength of our economy, fuel innovation, and promote the diversification of our future workforce.”

Support for FAFSA Simplification:

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators: “Allowing the IRS to share applicant data directly with ED will simplify the financial aid application, verification, and student loan repayment processes for millions of students and borrowers. The FUTURE Act provides a two-for-one deal by guaranteeing critically important permanent, annual funding for Minority-Serving Institutions that serve large numbers of low-income, first-generation college students. These are the sort of reasonable, bipartisan solutions students and families need from Washington, D.C., and we applaud these senators for their commitment to removing barriers to postsecondary education. The financial aid community urges House leadership to take swift action on this bill.”

National College Access Network: “This bill eliminates up to 22 income-related questions on the FAFSA and streamlines student loan repayment by allowing for direct data sharing between the Departments of Treasury and Education. Using verified income information from the IRS will also address the burdensome, audit-like process of FAFSA verification that requires students to confirm their submitted information. While negotiations on a full reauthorization of the Higher Education Act continue, we encourage swift action on these commonsense solutions with bipartisan support.” 

American Council on Education: “The amendment would make significant improvements to the federal student aid system, by simplifying and streamlining the processes for applying for student aid and repaying student loans. The changes proposed in the amendment will make the process of paying for college significantly easier for students and their families, and strengthen the accuracy and effectiveness of the administration of these programs. Finally, the bill includes additional funding for the Federal Pell Grant program, which is the cornerstone of federal student aid. These grants enable millions of low-income students to access and afford college, and we appreciate the inclusion of additional support for this valuable program.”

National Council of Higher Education Resources: “The amended version of the FUTURE Act would accomplish two of the most pressing needs facing postsecondary education without eliminating Account Maintenance Fees or AMF paid to guaranty agencies, as envisioned under the original House bill. State and nonprofit guaranty agencies are required under the Higher Education Act to provide important services to students, borrowers, families, and the federal government in order to increase access to and success in postsecondary education. The administrative funds that these agencies receive from the federal government is critical to helping first?generation and low?income college students.”

President Donald Trump:

 

 

Ivanka Trump:

 

 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos:

 

 

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.):

 

 

Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.):

 

###