07.31.08

Enzi Celebrates Final Passage of Higher Education Act Reauthorization Says Bill Will Make College more Affordable, Hold Universities and Lenders Accountable

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, Ranking Member of theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP Committee), todaycelebrated final passage of an agreement to reauthorize the Higher Education Act (HEA),which he said will improve higher education affordability, access, and accountability.“Completing this bill was a marathon, but we’ve reached the finish line,” Enzisaid. “Today is a great day for America’s students and their families. This bill is criticalto enhancing our economic security, and improving the knowledge and skills that are thegateway to the future for our students, working families, and businesses. “After over four years of negotiations, I am proud to send the President this bill tostrengthen higher education programs and expand access to a college education formillions of Americans. The bipartisan agreement we’ve approved today ensures thatstudents who are in school or will enter postsecondary education over the next decadewill find it easier to get the education they need and to develop the skills and knowledgeto be successful in this competitive world.” Enzi said that Senate approved H.R. 4137, the “Higher Education OpportunityAct of 2008,” by an 83-8 vote today. “This agreement will restore students’ trust in student loan programs by holdinglenders and schools to a code of conduct. It will also ensure that students and parentshave the information they need about the costs of college and the financial impact of theirloans so they can make sound decisions about their futures.” The final conference agreement will include provisions to:• Provide consumer friendly, easy to access and understand, detailed informationabout college tuition and fees.• Simplify the financial aid application process.• Require colleges to establish Codes of Conduct to prohibit their financial aidemployees from receiving anything of value in exchange for advantages soughtby lenders.• Require greater disclosure in college costs, including: college price watch lists;internet-based calculators of the net cost of college; and greater disclosure oftextbook costs.• Provide in-state tuition for members of the Armed Forces and their dependentswho have lived in a state for more than 30 days.• Authorize year-round Pell grants so that students can accelerate their course ofstudy, and expand grant programs for non-traditional students.“I want to thank my colleagues, especially Senators Kennedy and Mikulski andCongressmen Miller and McKeon, for keeping their commitment to complete thisconference agreement,” Enzi said. ####

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