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Purdue President Praises House Higher Ed Bill

April 18, 2018
 
 

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels weighed in the PROSPER Act -- House Republicans' plan to reauthorize the Higher Education Act -- Tuesday, offering praise for several of the bill's reforms.

In a letter to Representative Virginia Foxx, the chairwoman of the House Education and Workforce committee and the author of the bill, Daniels said PROSPER puts forward a "comprehensive framework" for dealing with many of the intractable challenges facing higher education in the U.S.

"PROSPER’s focus on making postsecondary education more affordable warrants higher education’s support. Students and taxpayers will benefit from an HEA reauthorization that confronts the issue of cost," he wrote. "PROSPER is a fine step in that direction."

Daniels in particular praised a proposal to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program as a "step toward addressing unfunded mandates." But much of his letter described ongoing attempts at innovation taking place at his university, such as offering income-share agreements in place of traditional student loans. He wrote that he hoped PROSPER would spur "similar institutional action" at other universities across the country.

The letter is the first instance in months of a higher education leader voicing even modest support for the bill, as a number of college lobby groups, veterans' organizations and student advocates have spoken out in opposition.

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