Renewing the Higher Education Act

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Here are some of the proposals offered by members of Congress for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a federal law that is set to expire next year. Federal lawmakers are rewriting the act for the first time since 1998.

Republicans Democrats
  • Propose the Ready to Teach Act, a bill that would increase requirements on teacher colleges and states, aimed at ensuring they produce qualified instructors.
  • Propose raising the maximum yearly Pell Grant award to $11,600 by 2011, from current level of $4,050. 
  • Would increase federal student-loan forgiveness for teachers in mathematics, science, and special education in certain Title I 
  • Would eliminate "origination fees," a 3 percent 
    surcharge on federal student loans. Lawmakers say such fees cost many borrowers hundreds of dollars over the life of their loans.
  • Call under one lawmaker's plan for setting federal guidelines that would 
    impose penalties on colleges and universities that fail to adequately control tuition hikes.
  • Propose creation of Centers of Excellence at Minority Serving Institutions, a competitive-grant program to foster better teacher quality and preparation at 
    predominantly minority colleges and universities.

Vol. 23, Issue 6, Page 21

Published in Print: October 8, 2003, as Renewing the Higher Education Act
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