Congressman Francis Rooney Supports Reform of Higher Education to Prepare Students for Real-World Job Opportunities
Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Rooney proudly supported reform of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Despite the act’s mission of “being a reliable pathway for students to receive a high-quality education and equip themselves with the skills necessary to find a good paying job”, the HEA has resulted in historically high tuition prices and student debt while failing to adequately address the estimated 6 million unfilled jobs in America.
Congressman Rooney stated, “These Higher Education Act reforms will refocus priorities where they belong – on preparing students to fill the 6 million job vacancies that currently exist, reducing historically high student debt and tuition prices, and ensure stronger accountability and a more limited federal role in education. The world is changing rapidly and our education system must have the tools and flexibility to respond to these changes; the status quo isn’t working.”
The Higher Education Act:
• Strengthens Workforce Development: The bill expands opportunities for students by reforming the federal work-study program, allowing students to use federal student aid for shorter-term programs that will get them into the workforce quicker, and encouraging partnerships between colleges and industry to expand opportunities.
• Increases ‘Earn and Learn’ options: The bill allocates $183 million to community colleges for apprenticeship programs of up to two years.
• Streamlines Student Aid: The bill streamlines student aid programs into one grant program, one loan program, and one Work-Study program to ease confusion for students who are deciding the best options available to responsibly pay for their college education.
• Simplifies Repayment: The bill pares down the maze of loan repayment options to one standard 10-year repayment plan and one income-based repayment plan.
• Eliminates Burdensome Federal Regulations: The bill eliminates burdensome federal regulations that put Washington in the middle of issues that are the responsibility of institutions or states, limit student choice, and stifle innovation.
• Repeals Unfunded Programs: The bill repeals all unfunded programs ensuring congressional priorities are maintained in the future.