Throughout our history, NAICU has been heavily engaged in HEA reauthorization discussions, and we continue to be active participants in the process.  We have focused on assuring that programs and policies are shaped in a way that recognizes the needs and diversity of independent higher education, while also participating in higher education community-wide efforts that support all students and institutions.


The Higher Education Act (HEA) sets out the requirements that students, institutions, and others must meet in order to participate in federal student aid and related higher education programs.

The HEA is updated periodically through a process known as reauthorization, which last occurred in 2008. The Act is behind schedule for reauthorization, although important groundwork has been laid.  Members of the House and Senate committees with HEA jurisdiction are primarily responsible for developing reauthorization legislation. 

What NAICU Is Saying About Reauthorization

Reauthorization Priorities

  • NAICU has identified 21 specific priorities that will guide our advocacy efforts as the reauthorization process continues.


Response to Senate White Papers

  • In 2015, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), released white papers dealing with accreditation, institutional risk sharing, and data transparency and consumer information. In response, NAICU submitted comments highlighting areas of risk and opportunity within each white paper.

Laying the Groundwork

  • During the 113th Congress (2013-14), the House and Senate began preliminary work on defining HEA issues and potential changes.  This work continued into the 114th Congress (2015-16).