STATEMENT: CAP’s David Bergeron and Generation Progress’ Anne Johnson on Proposal to Reauthorize the Higher Education Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, David Bergeron, Vice President for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement reacting to the news that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under the leadership of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced a draft proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act:

Today’s proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Affordability Act represents a major step forward in expanding access and affordability to quality postsecondary education for all Americans. This proposal makes significant new investments in Pell Grants and offers strong incentives for states to restore and increase their investment in higher education, as CAP has called for in its Public College Quality Compact. It also makes student loans more affordable by expanding affordable repayment options, such as Pay As You Earn. Finally, it takes a major step forward in improving quality assurance in our higher-education system by making accreditation more transparent and requiring improved oversight by the Department of Education of postsecondary education institutions, particularly those that are organized for-profit. We look forward to taking part in the robust discussion of the draft called for by Chairman Harkin of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the weeks ahead.

Anne Johnson, Executive Director of Generation Progress, also issued the following statement:

The higher-education system must be strengthened to help current students and borrowers. The proposal to reauthorize the Higher Education Act contains needed improvements that will help current students by making college more accessible and provide better support for those with student loans. We look forward to working with Congress to help pass this and other important pieces of legislation that help students and borrowers support themselves and their families.

For more information or to speak with an expert on this topic, contact Chelsea Kiene at or 202.478.5328.