The House Education and Labor Committee plans to hold five bipartisan hearings on higher education, marking the “formal start” of an effort the reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the 116th Congress.

The law, passed in 1965, authorizes a number of federal student aid programs and sets aid eligibility requirements for colleges. Intended to be reauthorized every five years, it expired in 2013 and has been extended since then.

The committee “will consider a comprehensive Higher Education Act reauthorization that puts a quality and affordable higher education within reach for every student,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, R-Va., the committee’s chairman in a statement. 

The hearings will help the committee to develop “bold solutions that are supported by evidence and research on higher education,” Scott said.

“The promise of post-secondary education is broken — of this, we are certain,” added ranking member Virignia Foxx, R-N.C. “Over the past many years on this committee, Chairman Scott and I have listened and grown increasingly concerned with the path of higher education in this country.”

The five hearings will address college costs, accountability in higher education, improving student outcomes, the role of institutions like community colleges and historically black colleges and universities, and “exploring high-quality pathways to a college degree.”

Members of the public can submit research and evidence to be considered during the committee’s work, and experts wishing to serve as potential witnesses can send information and requests to EdLaborHigherEd@mail.house.gov.

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