The Democrat-crafted bill, a version of the Higher Education Act that is due for reauthorization, has some significant differences from the PROSPER Act, a Republican-sponsored plan passed earlier this year by the House. The HEA would, among other provisions, increase the annual Pell grant maximum; allow two tuition-free years at a community college; preserve the TEACH grant program that provides student aid to those who agree to teach certain subjects in high-needs schools; create competitive grant programs for future teachers and school leaders and preserve the provision in the HEA that allows teachers in some cases to cancel out their college debt. The Aim Higher Act “would make important progress in supporting college access, affordability and completion,” APLU president Peter McPherson said in a statement. “The bill includes a number of provisions that APLU supports and has advocated for over the years,” he said, citing annual inflation adjustments for Pell grants, fixing “flaws of the 90/10 rule” governing federal aid ratios and expanding the collection and reporting of higher-ed outcomes data to count all students.
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