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The Higher Education Committee of 50 Draft Recommendations

Introduction and Background

As the Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization process continues, proposals abound from the various entities that have a stake in higher education. While many voices are weighing in on reauthorization discussions, there is a strong need for thoughtful, innovative ideas for the future of federal student aid that come from institutional voices. It is imperative to show lawmakers that institutions of higher education are forward-thinking, interested, and invested in improving student access, success, and outcomes. The time is ripe for this type of innovative thinking.

In late 2017, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) received a grant to convene a group of forward-thinking campus leaders tasked with developing policy solutions to surmount obstacles preventing students from enrolling in, paying for, and graduating from college. The Higher Education Committee of 50  is a group composed of college presidents; enrollment managers; members of governing boards; students; and leaders from admissions, financial aid, bursars’ offices, and other sectors of postsecondary institutions. The Higher Education Committee of 50 is charged with creating forward-thinking and innovative recommendations for members of Congress on specific, pre-identified policy areas related to access, affordability, accountability and transparency.

To form these recommendations, the Higher Education Committee of 50 members began with an in-person convening in March 2018 in Washington, DC. The convening commenced with four panel discussions, one on each of the four pre-identified topic areas, presented by subject matter experts who provided committee members with related background, research, and policy ideas to use in their deliberations. Since then, the group has spent the past five months reviewing research and current policy solutions, and consulting with outside subject matter experts and other practitioners in the field to form their draft recommendations for each of the following areas: Access, Accountability, Affordability, and Transparency.

You may also download a PDF version of all draft recommendations and citations. 

The public comment period for these recommendations ran from September 4 – September 28 and is now closed. The committee is currently working in finalizing their recommendations, which will be released publicly in 2019.

If you have any questions on the public comment period or the work of this committee, please feel free to email NASFAA’s Research Department at [email protected]. We look forward to your feedback.