From CTE Policy Watch – On Friday December 1, 2017, the Republican members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee announced their long-awaited proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA). While we work to provide a detailed analysis of H.R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act in the coming day, here are some of the highlights from the bill:

  • Consolidates financial aid into a “one grant, one loan, and one work-study system”
  • Allows students to use Pell Grants for shorter-term education programs
  • Authorizes a competitive grant to expand access to in-demand apprenticeship programs
  • Requires accrediting agencies to have an employer representative
  • Offers a $300 bonus to Pell Grant recipients who take 15 credits per academic session
  • Simplifies the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Creates a pathway to financial aid eligibility for competency-based education programs
  • Reforms the Federal Work-Study program and eliminates the cap on private-sector employment

The education committee in the Senate has yet to unveil its proposal for higher education reauthorization, but committee chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has indicated that it will be a priority in 2018. Follow our HEA coverage on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.