Higher Ed Act Reauthorization

Today's the Day for HEA

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Posturing, panicking and backpedaling and, of course, politicking -- all of those were in ample supply Wednesday as lobbyists, lawmakers and other players prepared for today's House of Representatives debate over legislation to renew the Higher Education Act.

Developments were fast and furious on an array of fronts. Among the most significant:

House, Focusing on Cost, Approves Higher Education Act

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Many Republicans join Democrats in backing legislation to ratchet up scrutiny of college spending and pricing, toughen student loan oversight, and ease aid application.

Maintain State Spending. Or Else.

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Policy makers lobby against a Higher Education Act provision that would withhold some federal funds from states that don't sustain college appropriations.

Emerging Higher Ed Act Compromise

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With lawmakers still aiming for May finish, draft bill circulates with abundant reporting requirements and key issues -- on textbooks, state mandates and minority graduate aid -- left unresolved.

'Last Bite at the Apple' on Accreditation?

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A year after Education Secretary Margaret Spellings abandoned plans to propose new federal rules governing higher education accreditation, under heavy pressure from members of Congress, the Education Department is reportedly contemplating issuing such regulations when legislation to renew the Higher Education Act becomes law. That possibility is being met with astonishment by college leaders and many on Capitol Hill, who describe it as both practically difficult and politically foolhardy.

7 Years, 1,158 Pages ... and Almost Done

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House-Senate panel reaches agreement on compromise legislation to renew the Higher Education Act, prompting more relief than satisfaction.

Emergency Overload

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Weeks after enacting law requiring colleges to develop emergency response plans, Congress prepares to pass bill requiring colleges to develop emergency response plans.

Margaret Spellings Looks Back

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In podcast interview, education secretary assesses her legacy, seeing progress in elevating higher ed issues on the national agenda but broad failure to confront the problems.

Politicians Praise and Pressure Colleges

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Despite promise of stimulus package, U.S. education secretary and key Republican senator tell higher ed leaders that they must change -- possibly to avoid fate of U.S. auto industry.

Back to Normal (Read: Boring)

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Unlike (relative) drama of 2007 negotiations over accreditation, panel now debating changes in federal rules focuses on the mostly mundane.

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