Bills in Congress Include Year-Round Pell, PPY for FAFSA

July 25, 2014
Carrie Warick, Director of Partnerships & Policy

After many hearings in the House and Senate, discussions of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act are gathering momentum on Capitol Hill, and several ideas that would benefit low-income students are getting bipartisan attention. In June, Senator Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee released draft legislative language for comment and hopes to introduce a bill this fall. Representative Kline (R-MN), chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, published a white paper that outlines his HEA priorities. 

Additionally, House committee members have already introduced smaller, targeted bills that have passed out of committee. And other proposals, specifically the FAST Act from Senators Alexander (R-TN, ranking member of HELP) and Bennet (D-CO) have also been introduced. You can view a comparison chart of these proposals as they affect low-income students. Additionally, NCAN held a briefing webinar for members that they can view (or download the slides) via their logins. 

NCAN supports many of the elements included in both of the Senate proposals, especially the use of prior-prior year tax information (PPY) for the FAFSA form and providing for a year-round Pell Grant. Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is expected in 2015 or 2016.

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