What Didn't Happen - But Just Might in the Future


Here are some issues discussed during the Congressional review and debate on the Higher Education Act, but no significant action was taken in the final legislation:

Accreditation Student Aid
Articulation Agreements Student Loan Sunshine
College Costs Student Unit Record Data
Institutional Autonomy Teacher Preparation
Last Dollar Transfer of Credit

ACCREDITATION: Efforts to dictate rigid measures of student achievement were defeated and, in fact, the power of the Department of Education to interfere in this area was curtailed.  There are no public disclosures of internal reviews required by the new law. (More)

ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS:  NAICU was successful in assuring that private institutions will not be forced into participation in statewide articulation agreements developed by the Secretary of Education and state education officials.

COLLEGE COSTS:  There are no price controls in the new law (More).  Since 2003, we have pushed back proposals to: 
  • Cut off all Title IV funding other than loans and Pell Grants to institutions that increased tuition by more than twice the rate of inflation.
  • Force institutions that exceeded the federally prescribed “college affordability index” to submit management action plans to the Department of Education, to be reported to their accreditors, and to be subject to audit by the Inspector General.
  • Require the establishment of “quality-efficiency task forces” of outside “experts” to review the operations of the 5 percent of institutions with the highest cost increases. 
  • Require institutions to include net price information by income quartile in their admissions materials.

INSTITUTIONAL AUTONOMY: The new law does not include any provisions that would control admissions (except veterans’ readmission), prices, student outcome measures, academic content, or transfer of credit.  It does include non-binding “sense-of- Congress” language regarding student speech and association.

LAST DOLLAR: The new law contains no new federal controls over institutional aid through federal oversight of student aid packaging. 

REPORTING/DISCLOSURE:   Over time, provisions relating to peer-to-peer file sharing, fire safety, vaccines, and consumer information reporting under IPEDS were made less onerous. Required reports on endowments and distance education were dropped from the final measure. (More)

On the positive side, three studies on the effect of Federal reporting requirements on institutions were also included in the final bill. (More)

STUDENT AID:  The new law does not eliminate Pell Grants for third and fourth year students through “front loading.”  It supports the continuation of Perkins Loans, LEAP, and SEOG – all of which had been targeted for elimination. (More)

STUDENT LOAN SUNSHINE:  The new law protects charitable giving by banks to colleges, and preserves the ability of financial experts to serve on college boards and college presidents to serve on bank boards. (More)

STUDENT UNIT RECORD DATA: The new law prohibits the establishment of a federal student unit record data system. However, the law encourages states to establish such systems. (More)

TEACHER PREPARATION: The new law does not include any federal curriculum mandates for teacher education (and, in fact, prohibits the creation of any federal standards), and institutions are not required to create new programs to meet national goals. (More)

TRANSFER OF CREDIT:  There is no government control of institutional policies on transfer of credit in the new law. There are, however, new disclosure requirements. (More.)