College Leaders’ Recommendations for the Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Committee of 50 released their final recommendations for the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization. The group includes community college presidents, trustees, administrators, and financial aid staff.

The Higher Education Committee of 50, also known as Forward 50, has released their final recommendations for the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization. In early 2018, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators convened the group of college presidents, trustees, and faculty to develop recommendations for Congress to improve the cornerstone federal higher education law. The group released their final recommendations as lawmakers are gearing up for the HEA reauthorization process.

The committee has provided 36 recommendations for higher education policy reform in the areas of: 1) access, 2) accountability, 3) affordability, and 4) transparency. Notably, the committee has recommended several changes to the federal financial aid application process including to reduce the number of times a student is required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and reduce the burden of the verification process. ACCT recently partnered with NASFAA and the Center for American Progress to analyze the viability of a “one-time FAFSA” that would accomplish these goals.

 Several community college representatives served on the committee, including:

·     Connie Hornbeck, ACCT Board Chair, Iowa Western Community College;

·     Victoria Onori Bowman, Mercer County Community College;

·     Dean Clark; Southwestern College;

·     Caleb Cornelious and Gregory Haile, Broward College;

·     Soon Flynn, Austin Community College;

·     Angela Johnson, Cuyahoga Community College;

·     Anne Kress, Monroe Community College;

·     Fred Lokken, Truckee Meadows Community College;

·     Yesenia Madas, Brookdale Community College;

·     Daniel Phelan, Jackson College; and

·     Normah Selleh-Barone, Moraine Valley Community College.

Follow ACCT Now, LAW alerts, and podcasts for continued updates and analysis of the HEA reauthorization process over the coming months.

Allison Beer is the senior policy analyst for ACCT. She can be reached at

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