S.2557: Student Aid Improvement Act of 2019
The Student Aid Improvement Act (S. 2557) is a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) made up of eight bipartisan pieces of legislation. Notable provisions include a shorter Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications. The current application contains 108 questions. This provision would The bill would also increase mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and “other minority serving institutions” to $255 million each year.
The legislation would also increase the maximum Pell Grant award per year, and allow students to use Pell Grants at proprietary institutions. S. 2557 would also restructure the need analysis formula by creating a “Student Aid Index” that would be used to qualify students for Pell eligibility based on family size and income relative to the poverty line.
To fund these provisions, the bill proposes to eliminate the standard repayment cap on income-based repayment plans (IBR), which is currently set to 10 percent of discretionary income for borrowers who took loans after July 1st, 2014. For those who borrowed before this date, the cap is set to 15 percent. Under the bill, those who enroll in IBR plans after July 1st, 2020 would pay 10 percent of their discretionary income, regardless of salary.
H.R. 4674 is the House Democratic version of Higher Education Act reauthorization.View Full Overview