WASHINGTON — Yesterday, Senate Republicans released their coronavirus relief plan, the HEALS Act, which is aimed at supporting Americans as the pandemic continues. Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement regarding upcoming bipartisan negotiations:
“As Congress continues to work toward the next emergency relief package, Higher Learning Advocates urges policymakers to prioritize the needs of today’s students in college.
While we are encouraged to see some provisions included in the Senate Republicans’ package—including the clarification of professional judgment in financial aid, assurance that the CARES Act aid will not impact students’ families’ EFCs, and funding for child care grants—much more must be done to support today’s students’ needs as we near fall semester. The final package must include additional provisions, such as ensuring students’ access to broadband and technology to ensure students are able to complete coursework and expanding SNAP eligibility rules to include students who are facing food insecurity.
Passing legislation that prioritizes the needs of today’s students—many of whom have lost jobs, are juggling child care and other priorities, and are still awaiting word on what fall semester will look like— should be a priority for Congress’ in the coming weeks.”