WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FUTURE Act, a bill to extend important mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribally Controlled Colleges or Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) that expired in September. The legislation is expected to get the U.S. Senate’s final approval.
The bill includes a Senate agreement to permanently reauthorize $255 million for these higher education institutions and the FAFSA Act, a measure that makes it simpler for the Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to share student tax data. This would help streamline the financial aid application process for students and make it easier for borrowers to access income-based repayment programs.
Ashley Harrington, a senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), released the following statement:
We commend each Member of Congress who voted to restore funding for these important higher education institutions that serve two million students of color and to help millions more by making the financial aid and student loan repayment process less burdensome.
HBCUs and other MSIs are essential to achieving equity and access in our higher education system as well as to curbing the student debt crisis. It’s also a win for student borrowers that this agreement includes legislation to streamline student tax data sharing between the Department of Education and the IRS, which would improve our financial aid system by drastically reducing the number of questions on the FAFSA, minimizing additional paperwork or submissions for students and families, insuring accurate calculation and dispersal of Pell Grants and student loans, and reducing the annual certification burden for students in income-based repayment plans.
We urge the President to sign the FUTURE Act into law and look forward to working with lawmakers in both chambers to put forward and pass a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization bill that addresses access, affordability, and accountability in our higher education system.
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