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What’s next for the Higher Education Act?

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Chris Murray

Published on: 11/5/2013

In a new article, Lobbying & Policy group partner Chris Murray wraps up a two-part series about the Higher Education Act by detailing Congress’s plans for the law’s reauthorization.

Despite the unproductive nature of the current Congress, these plans could involve considerable shakeups for higher education institutions across the country, Murray writes. This is in part because of the dramatic impact of education innovations like competency-based learning and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Murray’s most recent article, “The Higher Education Act: Going Big?” is the cover story of the Fall 2013 issue of InFocus, a publication of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association. UPCEA is a national association for leaders in professional, continuing, and online education. The association serves 350 educational institutions, including most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America.

As Murray writes, several hearings have been held by the House Education and the Workforce Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. President Obama also set off on a road trip in August to discuss college affordability with several on-campus speeches.

In the article, Murray outlined the key players in the House and Senate who will lead the charge on the reauthorization of the HEA. He also draws parallels between the current reauthorization and the sweeping changes made to the HEA in 1992.

“The consistency of macro issues in postsecondary education at play now are notably similar to 1992. College costs and the costs to the government are spiraling out of control; new modalities for learning do not squarely fit with the existing financial aid programs; a sputtering economy is having drastic impacts on the job prospects for college grads; and the loan program requires revised oversight,” Murray writes. “Every single one of these issues requires just as much attention now, if not more, as they did in 1992.”

The Thompson Coburn Lobbying & Policy group will continue to closely monitor the HEA reauthorization. Visit for updates.