A Look into the Status and Impact of the Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) is one of the many bills that has gone through myriad rounds of reauthorization and political discussion over the years and is currently in a politically interesting state of deconstruction and reform. Unlike some other bills, the HEA is supposed to be examined and renewed every five years according to what has been agreed upon by Congress at the time of the signing. This is to ensure alignment with current university standards and structures as well as current technology, political climate and anti-discrimination efforts.

The last reauthorization of the HEA, however, was in 2008 and it officially expired in 2013. Since this expiration, the 2008 HEA has been extended while Congress works through amendments and changes to the Act. To date, there has not been consensus on the reauthorization. Why is that and what is the current status of the HEA?

Currently, there are two HEA bills that are being considered by the House. On the Republican side there is the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity Through Education Reform Act (PROSPER), while the Democrats have introduced the Aim Higher Act. These bills were proposed in 2017 and 2018 respectively. As the majority in 2017, the Republican bill, PROSPER, was contended over and approved by the Republican party, however, it was unable to advance to a vote on the floor. As the current majority, the Democrats Aim Higher Act is currently the forerunner working through approval and towards the floor.

While both parties definitively agree that a major overhaul of the HEA is in order, PROSPER and Aim Higher would like to ratify different portions of the HEA.

A quick rundown summary on these bills:

PROSPER

  • Seeks to simplify loans and grants into one of each – The Pell Grant and the proposed Federal ONE loan
  • Would award an additional $300 Pell Grant for higher academic workload
  • Would maximize lifetime loans at $60,250 for undergraduates and $150,000 for graduates. These would not go into deferment while a student is attending university and would continue to accrue interest.
  • Simplifies FAFSA
  • Seeks to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program

Aim Higher

  • Simplifies FAFSA and implements lowest income groups receiving a Pell Grant w/o answering additional questions
  • Would expand Pell Grants for lowest income students
  • Seeks to prohibit for-profit universities spending less than 50% of tuition revenue on education/teaching from using federal funding on marketing, lobbying or advertising
  • Seeks to add completion rates and workforce participation rates to accreditation factors
  • Would allow DREAMers and prisoners to be granted federal financial aid for post-secondary education

As you can see, each bill has a dramatically different impact on both students seeking higher education as well as on the institutions providing education and doling out loans.

Because each bill is so radically different in its approach, there are staunch supporters and opposers of each bill and that divide is deeply impacting each bills’ ability to come to the floor for a vote. Interestingly enough, the support around both bills centers on how each individual bill will stimulate the workforce and effectively promote the ability for students to receive post-secondary education.

The opposition, however, is more nuanced. Opponents of PROPSER believe that it puts corporate and for-profit interests above the interest of the students, makes it more difficult for low- and middle-income students to pay for college and repay loans, lessens accountability standards on institutions, cuts about $15 billion (14.6 to be exact) from federal student aid and generally promotes taking financial advantage of students. On the other side, opponents of Aim Higher believe that the bill does nothing to actually lower costs to students, does not address an underlying problem in post-secondary education costs nor why post-secondary education is so costly to begin with and instead simply gives out more financial aid while being skewed towards special interest groups.

In the current political climate, the HEA reauthorization has been stalled out for years. However, there has been speculation that a renewed effort to reauthorize HEA will be taking place this year as the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), will not be seeking reelection in 2020. As the chair, Alexander has been a leading voice for higher education since 2003 and seen each attempt to reauthorize the HEA since its expiration. He has also called for bi-partisan input from the community for HEA reauthorization. Hopefully, his announcement will spur action and we will see a reauthorization to the HEA and the debates can be put to rest.

Sources:

https://www.acenet.edu/advocacy/Pages/Higher-Education-Act.aspx

https://www.acenet.edu/Pages/Renewing-the-Higher-Education-Act.aspx

https://edlabor.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Aim%20Higher%20Act%20–%20Side%20by%20Side1.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/4508/text

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr4508/summary

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6543/text

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr6543/summary

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/higher-education-act-of-1965-hea.asp

CallMiner: Aspects of Improvement Within Call Center Regulations

By CallMiner

Call center regulations are complex. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), for instance, requires debt collectors to disclose the purpose of their written or oral communications at the start of every contact (the mini-Miranda). Additionally, the FDCPA has strict requirements that stipulate when, where, and with whom a debt collector may communicate with consumers. All of these requirements aim to protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. As the debt collection industry continues to grow, more debt collection agencies turn to interaction analytics to improve agent performance while also mitigating compliance risks.

There are myriad other regulations that apply to call centers as well, from the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) to myriad state-specific regulations. Still, call center regulations aren’t perfect, and there’s plenty of room for improvement. To find out what today’s consumers, businesses, and call centers would improve about call center regulations, we reached out to a panel of call center pros and business leaders and asked them to answer this question:

“If you could wave a magic wand to improve one aspect of call center regulations, what would it be?”

Joe Laskowski was one of the 19 featured business leaders and experts asked to answer CallMiner’s question:

joe laskowski

Joe Laskowski is the Managing Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at Higher Ed Growth and LeadsCouncil board member. Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education.

“Adhering to regulations is an integral part of all call center activities…”

And the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) certainly outlines some of the most important requirements. From reassigned number liability to revocation of consent, the TCPA continues to be re-examined in the courts. The present-day rulings shape the environment in which call centers can engage with leads, and it is important for call centers to stay on top of changes.

One pain point for call centers in particular? The variability in TCPA consents. Many clients require specific TCPA statements for their brand, which is hard to scale and automate. It would be more effective for centers to have one client-approved TCPA that can dynamically integrate brand names. It is a much more seamless process for agents and reduces the risk of TCPA statements being missed or misread.

Read all of the responses to call center improvement on CallMiner.com: https://callminer.com/blog/19-experts-reveal-the-one-aspect-of-call-center-regulations-theyd-improve/

A Look into the Status and Impact of the Higher Education Act

Despite needing to be updated every five years, the HEA expired in 2008. Since this expiration, the 2008 HEA has been extended while Congress works through amendments and changes to the Act. To date, there has not been consensus on the reauthorization. Why is that and what is the current status of the HEA?

CallMiner: Aspects of Improvement Within Call Center Regulations

By CallMiner Call center regulations are complex. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), for instance, requires debt collectors to disclose the purpose of their written or oral communications at the start of every contact (the mini-Miranda). Additionally, the FDCPA has strict requirements that stipulate when, where, and with whom a debt collector may communicate […]

LeadsCon 2019: The Top 5 Trends

By Joe Laskowski March is always an exciting time at Higher Ed Growth (HEG), as it means the team is heading to Las Vegas for LeadsCon. We always look forward to the opportunity of LeadsCon to connect with other leaders in our industry and learn from one another, gauging where the future of lead generation […]