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AAU President Expresses Deep Concerns About HEA Bill

Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman on the House Education and Workforce Committee’s Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act:

AAU shares the House Education and Workforce Committee’s goals to improve the Higher Education Act to make student aid and federal higher education policy better serve students, their families, and the American economy. With little time to review the bill and amendments, however, we are deeply concerned that the proposed sweeping changes will negatively impact college access and affordability and prove detrimental to the education and training of our future workforce.

Of particular concern is the proposed elimination of loan programs that help students finance graduate and professional studies. At a time when our economy demands a highly-skilled and educated workforce, these and other aid programs are more important than ever. As drafted, this bill not only conflicts with our nation’s long-term economic goals but runs counter to the American value of opportunity for all by diminishing federal support for low- and middle-income students.

We continue to analyze the bill and remain committed to working with Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, Ranking Member Bobby Scott, and other Committee members to craft a bipartisan bill that works for students and their families.


Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises 62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery.

Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for academic research, are improving human life and wellbeing through research, and are educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens.

AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.