WASHINGTON (September 19, 2019) – Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement regarding the passing of the FUTURE Act:
“Higher Learning Advocates is encouraged that the House of Representatives has passed the FUTURE Act—legislation to ensure current funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) continues.
“However, ensuring continued funding to these institutions should not be a shortcut around a comprehensive reauthorization. We support many of the measures discussed by Chairman Alexander, such as simplifying and streamlining the FAFSA and allowing students to use Pell Grant funds at high-quality programs that suit their education and job training goals, and look forward to working with him and members on both sides of the aisle to achieve those policy goals in a reauthorization. However, I am concerned their inclusion in a Senate version of the FUTURE Act would be at the cost of comprehensive changes necessary to holistically address the needs of the increasing number of adult students, working students and student parents who attend our nation’s colleges and universities.
“Passing the FUTURE Act should be a priority for Congress to better support HBCUs and MSIs. However, this Act should stand alone and not be used as a guise to kick the can down the road on the important work to comprehensively reauthorize the Higher Education Act.”
Higher Learning Advocates is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to shift federal policy from higher education to higher learning—education and training beyond high school that leads to a degree, credential, or employment. While more students are participating in higher education than ever before, there is a vast and growing disconnect between federal policy and the needs of today’s students, employers, and communities. We are working toward federal policies that create transparent pathways to success, incentivize innovation, protect students and taxpayers, and improve outcomes.