Interactives, stories, and collections that go beyond the data

Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act

The Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA) was signed into law to strengthen the country’s colleges and universities by providing increased resources to educational institutions and financial assistance for students. The HEA has been reauthorized several times, most recently in 2008, and is overdue for reauthorization. In 2017, House Republicans introduced The Promoting Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER Act) as their solution to HEA reauthorization, and House Democrats countered with the Aim Higher Act in 2018. Though decidedly different in approach, both bills focus on holding institutions accountable, making college accessible, and reducing colleges costs, whether for students, taxpayers, or both. 

This collection of memos, reports, and interactive features by Urban Institute experts offers evidence-based policy solutions to guide HEA reauthorization. We evaluate proposed policies and offer recommendations for simplifying aid and making college more affordable and accessible to students.


Memos to Congress and the Administration on Higher Education



Understanding College Affordability
Concerns over college tuition and student debt have led to a sense that college has become “unaffordable.” But what does that mean? Explore affordability from all angles on our website.

Pell Grant Reform Simulator
This tool lets users simulate the effects of modifications to the Pell program to see how program costs and grant amounts change.

Charting Student Loan Repayment
Use our tool to design your own income-driven repayment plan, and see how it compares with existing and proposed plans.



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