NAICU Washington Update

Congressional Action Marks the End of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance

October 06, 2015

Congress failed to include funding for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA) in the recently passed Continuing Resolution that kept the government from closing, although they did extend authorization for the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity which advises the Secretary on accreditation.

The Advisory Committee was established in 1986, as an independent source of advice and counsel to Congress and the Secretary of Education on student financial aid policy. Since its founding, the Advisory Committee has been an influential body, contributing to many of the most compelling debates in higher education. Among its greatest accomplishments is designing the basic architecture for the FAFSA and the single federal need analysis system behind it. Among its many landmark reports was Access Denied which, in 2001, first identified that a low-performing student from a high income family was more likely to attend and complete college that a high-performing low-income student.

Many NAICU members have served on the Advisory Committee since its inception, hosted hearings on their campuses, and testified at meetings. The legislation that proposed to extend the Perkins Loan Program did contain a provision to extend the authorization of the Advisory Committee, but that failed in the Senate when unanimous consent was not obtained.

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