The PROSPER Act and Community Colleges

The PROSPER Act and Community Colleges

On Friday, May 4th, the Hamm Consulting Group participated in a webinar hosted by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) government relations staff that examined the PROSPER ACT’s (H.R. 4508) current status, impact on community colleges and their students and the outlook for the passage of Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization legislation in 2018.

In addition to an excellent overview of the favorable and unfavorable components of the legislation, two key takeaways were presented. First, colleges should provide Return of Title IV Funds (R2T4) information to AACC/ACCT. We asked if AACC knew the Senate’s position on R2T4 and was advised the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has not yet disclosed its position on this issue.

A second key takeaway was a suggestion by AACC/ACCT staff to colleges to discuss risk sharing, short-term Pell workforce development eligibility, and other HEA issues that impact their institutions with members of their respective congressional delegations. It will be critical for legislators to be educated on the views of their community colleges on these issues as Congress undertakes a sweeping rewrite of the nation’s higher education law.

The bill, which was approved by House Education and the Workforce Committee last year on a party-line vote, is now awaiting action by the full House.  The Senate is currently working on its own draft of a higher education reauthorization bill.  Passage of a final bill this year may be a challenge for Congress, especially with midterm elections in November.  However, it is important to continue to advocate and educate your House and Senate members and their staff on HEA reauthorization legislation that is most favorable to your college.

A copy of the webinar PowerPoint presentation is available at this link: