House Approves 2 Bills Toward Renewal of Higher Education Act

July 24, 2014

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two higher-education bills on Wednesday, sending them to an uncertain fate in the Senate.

Among other things, the bills would create a demonstration project for competency-based education (HR 3136) and streamline the information the federal government provides to prospective students (HR 4983). The two bills were approved this month by the House education committee, as part of its piecemeal reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Lawmakers also extended for a year two key advisory committees: the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which advises the secretary of education on accreditation matters, and the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which advises policy makers on student-aid policy.

Another bill, which would expand counseling for student-loan borrowers (HR 4984), is expected to be approved on Thursday, when the House will also take up legislation to streamline the higher-education tax breaks (HR 3393).

While the bills that passed on Wednesday have bipartisan support, it is unclear if, or when, they’ll be considered by the Senate, which is taking a comprehensive approach to renewing the Higher Education Act.