Higher education legislation cosponsored by Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) passed the House, including bills to help students and parents better determine the costs associated with going to college, expand opportunities to help Hispanic-Americans move into the health care profession, and simplify the financial aid application process.
“These bipartisan bills will make much needed improvements to higher education programs,” said Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “A college degree must be within reach for all Americans. Higher Education is a proven path to prosperity and keeping America competitive in the global economy. Congress must focus on making college more affordable and accessible.”
The House approved the following higher education bills:
Davis is a cosponsor of the Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3178) to make it easier for students and parents compare the costs associated with attending different institutions. This information would be available on a new and improved College Dashboard feature on the Department of Education website. The bill also requires colleges to make such information easier to locate and use on their websites.
The Higher Education Act incudes provisions to increase access to a college degree for Hispanic-Americans. While these programs are successful with Hispanic-Americans attending college in higher numbers than ever before, they still lag behind in choosing careers in health care – which often require graduate work. Davis is a cosponsor of the Accessing Higher Education Opportunities Act (H.R. 5529) to facilitate students going from four-year institutions to doctoral programs through the use of counseling and mentoring programs. It also allows for dual enrollment and early college high school programs.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), with its 108 questions, has been criticized as being too long and complex thereby discouraging students and parents from seeking financial assistance. The Simplifying the Application for Student Aid (H.R. 5528), of which Davis is cosponsor, requires the Department of Education to find ways to simplify the application process. It allows families to use income information from two years prior rather than just the year before. Linking the online FAFSA form with the IRS will also facilitate the income date process.