GOP Seeks to Shift Accountability for Colleges

Education groups scrambled Friday to dissect a massive bill from Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to reauthorize the federal law that governs higher education, with proposals that have serious implications for how students pay for their degrees and how colleges are evaluated.

The bill also delivers on long-held GOP priorities to roll back regulations on the for-profit and online education sectors and steers new federal money to apprenticeships and career training.

Broad outlines of the 542-page proposal emerged earlier in the week. And well ahead of the bill’s release, it was clear that Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the House education committee, would look to simplify the federal student aid program (partly by ending many loan repayment benefits), eliminate the gainful-employment rule and other regulations long opposed by for-profits, and more broadly seek to link federal aid eligibility to students' ability to repay loans.

The details in the full bill did not win much support from college lobbyists and student aid advocates. While most were still examining the full implications of the bill, groups said the legislation would increase the cost of college for students while doing significantly less to protect them from low-quality programs.

Read more at Inside Higher Ed: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/12/04/republican-bill-would-reshape-how-colleges-are-held-accountable