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Letter to the House Education Committee on higher education

June 21, 2016

Dear Representative:

On behalf of our three million members and the students they serve, we urge you to support and vote YES on the following bipartisan bills, which are being marked up tomorrow:

  • Simplifying the Application for Student Aid Act (H.R. 5528) by Reps. Joe Heck (R-NV) and Jared Polis (D-CO): Reforms the federal student aid process to help students make timely financial decisions about their education and better prepare for college.
  • Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act (H.R. 5529) by Reps. Heck and Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX): Helps students at Hispanic-serving institutions pursue careers in medicine, dentistry, and other health care professions. 
  • HBCU Capital Financing Improvement Act (H.R. 5530) by Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC) and Bradley Byrne (R-AL): Improves access to—and oversight of—an existing program to improve the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
  • Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3178) by Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Gregorio Sablan (D-MP): Helps students gain access to information they need to make informed decisions about where to pursue their education. 
  • Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 3179 Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR): Promotes financial literacy by enhancing counseling for recipients of federal financial aid.

While NEA urges you to support these bills, we would prefer a comprehensive approach to reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and urge you to remain true to these core goals:

  • Making higher education affordable for all students
  • Improving access to higher education for all segments of America’s increasingly diverse student population, including adult learners
  • Ensuring that federal aid dollars go only to soundly managed colleges and universities with high educational standards
  • Ensuring that all faculty and staff have a stakeholder voice when setting priorities and goals for institutions of higher education

We urge you to support the bills cited above and look forward to working with you towards the final goal: a complete reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. 


Mary Kusler 
Director of Government Relations